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UPI Focus: Rudolph charged in Atlanta blasts

By
MICHAEL KIRKLAND

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 -- Fugitive Eric Rudolph, who the FBI believes is still holed up in the rugged mountains of western North Carolina, has been charged with the deadly bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, as well as two other Atlanta blasts. Rudolph was charged earlier with the January bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., that killed an off-duty police officer and maimed a nurse. In Atlanta, a powerful pipe bomb ripped through Centennial Olympic Park two years ago, causing two deaths and injuring more than 100 people. Last year in the same city, bombs were set off at an abortion clinic and a lesbian bar, but both were closed at the time. The nation's top law enforcement officers, including Attorney General Janet Reno, announced the new charges against Rudolph at a news conference in the Justice Department today. An arrest warrant containing the new charges was issued by a federal magistrate in Atlanta. The Justice Department released a new photograph of Rudolph wearing shorts and what appears to be a green or blue T-shirt, the clothing he is believed to have worn to Centennial Olympic Park on the night of the bombing. Reno and other officials said the new charges show Rudolph was allegedly targeting more than abortion clinics and gays. FBI Director Louis Freeh said the charges show 'the indiscriminate nature of (Rudolph's) targets -- innocent civilians in every case.' Freeh said 'a whole panoply of evidence, a lot of it forensic' links Rudolph to the three Atlanta bombings.

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The affidavit supporting the new charges was kept sealed. Freeh said there is still no evidence, with one exception, that Rudolph is getting help from others in eluding a massive manhunt in the forests of western North Carolina. He declined to elaborate on the exception. A special multi-agency task force in Atlanta has set up a toll-free hot line, 1-888-ATF-BOMB, for information. There is reward of up to $1 million for Rudolph's arrest. Appearing with Reno and Freeh were James Johnson, Treasury undersecretary for enforcement, Director John Magaw of Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Woody Henderson, in charge of the Southeast Bomb Task Force, and Nina Hunt, acting U.S. attorney in Atlanta. ---

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Copyright 1998 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

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