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Unabomber suspect in custody

FBI searches Harvard graduate's house

Unabomber

April 3, 1996
Web posted at: 11:55 p.m. EST

LINCOLN, Montana (CNN) -- The FBI's 18-year search for the elusive Unabomber led them to a mountain cabin Wednesday, where they caught a former Berkeley professor turned in by his family as a possible suspect in the mail bomb killings.

The suspect was taken into custody when he resisted an effort to search his home in Lincoln, according to law enforcement sources and a saw mill owner whose property the FBI used as a staging area for the raid.

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The suspect was identified as Theodore (Ted) Kaczynski by his neighbor at the saw mill, Clifford Gehring.

A law enforcement source in Washington told CNN Kaczynski is the person whose residence was raided outside Lincoln, Montana, on Wednesday. A Justice Department official said he was taken into custody so that he wouldn't interfere with the search of his cabin.

Kaczynski was in an undisclosed location most of the day, but late Wednesday night, he was taken to FBI offices in downtown Helena. It wasn't immediately known if he would be held overnight on charges.

The FBI also began searching his cabin, the Justice Department official said, "to see if we have the right guy. We don't know yet if this is the right man but he is a suspect."

Officials said the case is unrelated to an ongoing standoff between FBI agents and the "Freemen" group near Brusett, Montana.

attack

The FBI's Unabom task force has long sought a middle-aged white male Harvard graduate in the 17-year mail-bomb spree. They believed that their suspect hailed from the Chicago area and had been a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Searches for the Unabomber originally focused on the Pacific Northwest region of the country.

Now, there are unconfirmed reports that investigators came to Montana to look for him because of tips from his family.

Kaczynski, a bearded loner described by a neighbor as "a hermit," may be the suspect the FBI has long sought. A man identified as Theodore Kaczynski graduated from Harvard in 1962. The University of California at Berkeley says he taught in their mathematics department for two years, starting in 1967. In 1969, he resigned.

According to Kaczynski's neighbor in Montana, Kaczynski stands about 5'9", has scraggly hair, wears a straw hat, has no car, and rides a bicycle into Lincoln to get groceries.

FBI officials said a recent search of his family home near Chicago produced materials possibly linking him to a series of mail bombings. Agents demanding anonymity told the AP that the suspect had used a number of aliases, including Ted John Kaczynski, Ted John Kaczyns, Walter Teszewski II, and Ted Dombek.

The Unabomber, so called because his first mail bomb attacks targeted universities and airlines, first surfaced on May 25, 1978, when a package was found in a campus parking lot at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It was brought to nearby Northwestern University the next day because of its return address, and exploded there on May 26 when it was opened, injuring one person.


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Since then, 15 more bombs, most of them package bombs, have been attributed to the Unabomber. Twenty-three people have been injured by those bombs, and three were killed. He "autographed" many of his bombs with the initials "FC."

Officials said he could easily purchase the electrical switches and chemicals he uses in his bombs, but he makes the switches by hand, and probably mixes his own chemicals as well.

The most recent Unabomber attack came in April 1995 when California Forestry Association President Gilbert Murray received a mail bomb at the CFA's headquarters in Sacramento. Murray was killed opening the bomb.

Shortly thereafter, the Unabomber made national headlines in a different way, demanding in June that that national newspapers publish his eight-page, 35,000-word "manifesto," a diatribe against technology.

He threatened to send another bomb "with intent to kill" if his document were not published in its entirety. The New York Times and the Washington Post eventually agreed to split the costs of a special insert in the Post. The manifesto was published September 19, under recommendations from the Justice Department that they publish it "out of a concern for public safety."

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