So People for the Ethical of Treatment of Animals is claiming it’s a “good citizen” vis-a-vis domestic terrorism (Letter, “PETA pounces back, Monday). Hardly, unless opening up its wallet to violent predators (including multiple convicted felons) constitutes good citizenship.

Conspicuously missing from PETA’s response to my Nov. 24 Forum column, “Financing domestic terrorism,” is any denial of its financial ties to individuals whom the FBI considers domestic terrorists. A PETA flier in my filing cabinet declares that the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is “an army of the kind,” and PETA members still can buy a book by PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk that sings ALF’s praises. PETA’s ringleaders know they can’t defend their organization’s record. Why else would they enlist their lawyer to respond for them?

This much is indisputable: PETA has financed dangerous criminals to the tune of at least $100,000. That’s more money than the organization has devoted to shelters, spay-neuter clinics or other programs that actually benefit animals.

Rodney Coronado, a multiple felon who has destroyed animal research laboratories and has benefited personally from PETA’s largess, told a crowd of more than 400 masked activists last weekend that he was “personally glad” to see ALF arsons continue during the weeks after September 11. “Whatever gets the job done,” he said, “is OK with me.” He also urged the assembled activists to mount a revolution against the United States, saying: “I don’t believe that we can change the government. I think we need to tear [it] down and start over again.”

PETA diverged from the mainstream bunny-huggers many years ago. It’s time to acknowledge that the group’s primary legacy is not its much-vaunted “compassion,” but rather the trail of dangerous terrorists in its wake.