Several Potential Suspects Identified In Atlanta Bombing Bomber May Be Loner Resentful Of Athletes And Spectators

TUESDAY, JULY 30, 1996

Investigators tracking a host of leads have identified several Americans as potential suspects in the Olympic bombing, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.

Authorities did not indicate an arrest was imminent.

From across Georgia, meanwhile, police and National Guard reinforcements converged on Atlanta to add more eyes, ears and firepower to the security force shielding the Games from new terror attacks.

Centennial Park, closed since a pipe bomb went off there early Saturday, will reopen this morning with a memorial service for the victims. One woman was killed and 111 people were injured, and a Turkish cameraman died of a heart attack rushing to the scene.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, other than the person who called 911 to warn that the bomb was about to go off. “There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have 30 minutes,” was all the caller said before hanging up, the FBI said.

Investigators are confident the caller was a white American male, with no discernible accent. That, and the crudeness of the device and method, apparently have led them to suspect a home-grown, relatively unsophisticated individual or group.

Experts interviewed by The Associated Press suggested the bomber was a troubled loner, resentful of athletes and spectators enjoying themselves. “This is a be-somebody type of activity,” said Clinton Van Zandt, a former FBI behavioral scientist.

Investigators have identified several potential suspects who are the focus of immediate attention, according to a law enforcement official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The source said those suspects are not the people depicted in composite sketches developed by the FBI from witness descriptions of suspicious people at the scene.

The source would not elaborate further on the targets of the investigation.

Investigators have received a flood of information - witness statements, videotapes and snapshots taken by tourists.

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