Fugitive charged with Atlanta bombings


One of the most wanted fugitives in the US, Mr Eric Rudolph, was charged yesterday with the 1996 Olympics bombing, which killed one woman and injured more than 100 people, and two other Atlantaarea explosions.

The Attorney General, Ms Janet Reno, FBI Director, Mr Louis Freeh, and other federal law enforcement officials announced the new charges against Mr Rudolph, who previously was accused of a deadly Alabama abortion clinic bombing. They said at a Justice Department news conference that Mr Rudolph was charged in a criminal complaint filed in Atlanta with the powerful pipe-bomb attack on July 27th, 1996, at the Centennial Olympic Park.

He also was charged in the Atlanta-area explosions outside an abortion clinic in January 1997, which injured four people, and the bombing at a predominantly lesbian nightclub in February 1997 in which five people were injured.

They said a US judge in Atlanta yesterday issued a warrant for Mr Rudolph's arrest on the new charges.

"This arrest warrant for Eric Robert Rudolph moves us one step closer to ending the campaign of violence that began over two years ago," said Mr John Magaw, the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The complaint specifically charged Mr Rudolph with five counts of "malicious use and attempted use of an explosive" by placing one bomb at the Olympics, two bombs at the abortion clinic and two bombs at the bar in Atlanta. "We are going to keep searching until we find him," Ms Reno said of Mr Rudolph. She said he was still believed to be in hiding in the woods and mountains of western North Carolina, where he lived.