Newspaper: Spokane men investigated in Olympic bombing
January 26, 1997
Web posted at: 10:00 a.m. EST
SPOKANE, Washington (CNN) -- A Spokane newspaper reported
Sunday that a federal probe into last summer's Olympic park
bombing is looking closely at three men who have been
arrested and charged in three bombings in Spokane.
The Spokane Spokesman-Review quoted an unnamed Justice
Department official saying that the three "are our strongest
lead" in the July 27 bomb blast that killed one and injured
more than 100 in Atlanta, "but there's a lot more work to
The newspaper said that "Justice Department and FBI officials
at several levels" confirmed that the Spokane men were under
investigation, but cautioned they had other leads and that
the three were not considered suspects in the Atlanta
Federal officials told CNN only that the three men had been
"looked at" in connection with the bombing.
Officials have been cautious in discussing the investigation
since misidentifying security guard Richard Jewell as a
suspect last fall. After calling national media attention to
the man who found the bomb before it went off, the FBI was
forced to admit it had no evidence linking Jewell to the
The three men identified by the Spokane paper as being under
investigation have been accused in three bombings in the
Spokane area -- one at an office of the newspaper itself, one
at a Planned Parenthood clinic, and a third at a bank branch,
which also was robbed. There were no injuries in any of those
The paper said investigators were led to the three by a
military surplus dealer who helped identify them as suspects
in the Spokane bombings. The dealer, who has been moved to a
secret location by the FBI, spoke up when he saw photographs
of the military-style backpack investigators say was used to
conceal the Olympic Park bomb. The man said he had sold a
similar pack to two of the three men.
The informant reportedly told investigators that the men
asked him how to remove fingerprints from the backpack and
discussed a time-delayed detonator similar to the one used in
the Atlanta bomb.
FBI officials also reportedly told the newspaper that
telephone records show several collect calls from the Atlanta
area to the home of one of the men around the time of the
According to the paper, one of the three men once worked for
AT&T in Georgia and Florida, allegedly calling the telephone
giant an immoral company because of gay and lesbian awareness
sessions and the number of women in its work force.
The Atlanta bomb was placed next to a sound control tower at
AT&T's Global Village stage in Centennial Olympic Park.
The three men are scheduled to go on trial in the Spokane
bombings on February 10, but that trial could be delayed
because they have so far refused a court order to provide
handwriting samples and be photographed, the Spokesman-Review
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