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Olympic Park Bombing Story Page

Clinton pledges thorough effort to find Olympic park bomber

July 27, 1996
Web posted at: 11 a.m. EDT


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bill Clinton pledged Saturday morning that authorities will "spare no effort" to find and punish those responsible for the deadly bombing at Centennial Olympic Park.

"The bombing ... was an evil act of terror," the president said, eschewing his scheduled weekly radio address to respond to the explosion. "It was aimed at the innocent people who were participating in the Olympic Games, an act of cowardice that stands in sharp contrast to the courage of the Olympic athletes."

Clinton offered condolences and prayers to victims of the bombing and their families, and thanked security and medical personnel for their quick and "brave" response. (238K AIFF or WAV sound)

"There was more concern about the Olympic park than any other place because it was thought that there had to be some place where the general public could congregate," he said. "Even there ... someone spotted that suspicious package last night and alerted the bomb squad and helped to clear the area." He said the quick actions of security personnel prevented a larger loss of life.

Clinton said it was impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of such an attack, but that the security efforts for the Atlanta games were thought to be the best coordinated in recent memory.

"An act of vicious terror like this is clearly directed at the spirit of our democracy," the president said. " ... We must not let these attacks stop us from going forward. We must not let terror win."

Clinton said he supported the death penalty for terrorists who cause deaths.

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