Would you consider this man a terrorist?

When you hear the word “terrorist,” Osama bin Laden or Timothy McVeigh jump to mind—certainly way before an earnest, animal-loving man from the American West. Not so for certain members of the F.B.I. In his eye-opening book Operation Bite Back: Rod Coronado’s War to Save the American Wilderness, journalist Dean Kupiers examines how a man with deep ties to nature and a penchant for dramatic activism wound up a top priority for American law enforcement.

Coronado grew up hunting, fishing and camping with his dad, and his love for the outdoors and animal life eventually drew him to radical actions to protect the things he held dear: He sank whaling ships in Iceland and later launched the mission from which the book takes its name (a war on fur farming). But beyond telling Coronado’s personal story, Kupiers illuminates the murky world of animal and environmental rights, and asks whether those who seek to defend the powerless—even through quasi-violent means—are truly as dangerous as the government would have us believe.

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Would you consider this man a terrorist?