In a public appearance before a veterans group yesterday, President Bush affirmed: “If you harbor a terrorist, if you support a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you’re just as guilty as the terrorists.” The Commander-in-Chief was speaking of Al Qaeda and Hamas, but we’re reminded that the same rule should apply when assessing blame for homegrown terrorism. In particular, the zealots at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have a long history of supporting terrorists whose crimes are inspired by animal-rights ideology and environmental extremism.

Those with a fascination for the macabre may be interested in the 2002 “annual report” of animal-rights- and eco-terrorism, published by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). It brags about “100 illegal direct actions” committed by this cadre of violent thugs against businesses, government agencies, and universities.

And the hit parade continues. Americans have seen a spike of eco-terror and animal-rights terror attacks in 2003, including the following crimes committed during the past month:

Animal-rights zealots vandalized the house and car of a San Francisco chef who dared to serve foie gras.

The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) firebombed an SUV dealership in California, causing an estimated $1 million in damages.

Vandals struck 17 Starbucks restaurants in San Francisco.

Militant animal rightists threatened to kidnap the wife and children of a businessman connected to a medical research firm.

And, of course, ELF arsonists threatened the lives of firefighters and construction workers when they caused $50 million in damage to an unfinished apartment complex in San Diego.

Last year, Rick Berman of the Center for Consumer Freedom testified before Congress that between 1994 and 1995:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals gave over $70,000 to an Animal Liberation Front criminal named Rodney Coronado, who was convicted of arson, a felony, in connection with the $1.7 million firebombing of a Michigan State University research facility … In addition, both PETA and its president, Ingrid Newkirk, are acknowledged financial supporters of an organization called No Compromise, which operates on behalf of, and for the “underground” supporters of the Animal Liberation Front.

It’s clear that PETA, a tax-exempt charity, is supporting groups and individuals whose activities fit the U.S. Criminal Code’s definition of “domestic terrorism.” And it’s already a federal crime to provide “material support or resources” to terrorists, whether foreign or domestic. It’s time to ask the question: when will PETA be held accountable?