An abortion-rights group said Tuesday it sees little doubt that letters from the Army of God connect clinic bombings in Birmingham and Atlanta, a signal of expanding anti-abortion violence.
The FBI said it was still analyzing similarities in the letters claiming to be from the Army of God, a name associated over the years with radical anti-abortion actions, including a manual showing how to build a bomb.
National abortion-rights activists, who came to Birmingham after Thursday’s deadly blast, warned that the letters show how the violence now may spread.
“It’s this idea: If you want to do violence, claim to be the Army of God no matter who you are,” said Ann Glazier, who researches clinic violence for Planned Parenthood Foundation.
Glazier said her organization was alerting clinics that attacks could be far-ranging.
“Too many clinics are saying, ‘The Army of God is in Atlanta. What do we have to worry about in Montana?”’ she said.
The hand-written letter that surfaced this week claimed responsibility for the bombing that killed a police officer and seriously injured a nurse outside the New Woman All Women clinic on Thursday.
It said the bombing “was carried out by the Army of God.” It warned “those who work in the murder mills around the nation” that they will be “targeted without quarter - you are not immune from retaliation - your commissar’s in Washington can’t protect you!”
A similar letter last year claimed responsibility for bombs at an Atlanta abortion clinic and a gay nightclub.
It is unclear whether the Army of God is an actual organization. It may be a reference to anyone who supports violence against abortion clinics, or to Christians who oppose abortion.
Meanwhile Tuesday, Emily Lyons, the clinic’s 41-year-old nurse wounded in the blast, underwent a second round of surgery aimed at saving the sight in her right eye. She lost vision in her left eye in the bombing and suffered injuries to her abdomen, legs and a hand.
Police officer Robert Sanderson, 34, was killed in the blast while working off duty as a security guard.
No arrests have been made. Authorities continue to search for Eric Robert Rudolph, the North Carolina man sought as a witness in the bombing. A gray 1989 Nissan pickup truck registered to Rudolph was seen near the clinic following the explosion.
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