EMERYVILLE--A Bay Area animal rights activist suspected of bombing two local medical research companies a decade ago is believed to be hiding in Hawaii, the Federal Bureau of Investigations said Wednesday.

Daniel Andreas San Diego, 36, has been a fugitive since he purportedly planted bombs filled with nails at Emeryville-based Chiron and Pleasanton-based Shaklee in 2003. The companies were attacked because they have associated with Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British laboratory firm that uses animals for testing, according to the FBI.

Nobody was hurt in either blast. San Diego has been on the run ever since, occasionally sighted as far away as France and Spain. This week, the FBI announced that it received credible information that San Diego was living on the island of Hawaii.

San Diego was born in Berkeley and grew up in Marin County and has occasionally been spotted in Novato and San Rafael. He is described as 6 feet tall and 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes; he wears eyeglasses and has tattoos on his chest, stomach and back.

In 2004, San Diego was indicted in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in the bombings on two felony counts of destroying or attempting to destroy property with explosives and two felony counts of use of a destructive device in a crime of violence. There is a $250,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Authorities believe San Diego has ties to animal rights extremist groups and that his activities have inspired other animal rights activists, including a 2009 firebombing at a UC Santa Cruz scientist's home and a separate bombing of a UCSC scientist's car.

Contact Karina Ioffee at 650-576-9626. Follow her at Twitter.com/kioffee.