Nails link Birmingham suspect to Atlanta bombing
February 24, 1998
Rudolph is the target of a federal manhunt
Web posted at: 10:07 p.m. EST (0307 GMT)
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (CNN) -- New evidence has linked the prime suspect in last month's bombing of a Birmingham women's clinic to the bombing last year of a clinic in Atlanta, according to federal government sources.
Nails found in a Murphy, North Carolina, storage shed rented by Birmingham bombing suspect Eric Rudolph match nails used as shrapnel in the as-yet-unsolved attack on a similar clinic in Atlanta.
Rudolph, a 31-year-old western North Carolina carpenter, is being sought by authorities for questioning about the deadly January 29 bombing of the New Woman All Women Health Care Clinic in Birmingham. An off-duty police officer died and a nurse was critically wounded in the explosion.
Similarities between the Birmingham and Atlanta bombings quickly led to speculation after last month's attack that it might be linked to the double bombing of a suburban Atlanta women's clinic in 1997.
Nails not enough
The Atlanta bombs were packed with 1 1/2-inch cut flooring nails that acted as shrapnel and injured six people, mostly law enforcement officers.
Agents found the nails in a shed near Rudolph's trailer home
When agents searched the shed near Rudolph's North Carolina home just days after the Birmingham bombing, they found nails identical to those used in one of the Atlanta bombs, sources said.
Forensic testing confirmed late last week that the nails from the Atlanta clinic bomb matched those found in Rudolph's shed, sources said.
The nails alone are not enough to make Rudolph a suspect in the Atlanta bombings, but federal agents are investigating other possible connections.
Soon after the Birmingham attack, news organizations received letters from the "Army of God" claiming responsibility for the attack.
Those letters were similar to "Army of God" letters sent to the same news organizations in 1997 claiming credit for the Atlanta clinic bombing and the bombing of a gay nightclub in Atlanta.
Rudolph disappeared 3 1/2 weeks ago, the day after the Birmingham bombing. He has been the target of a massive federal manhunt since then, with authorities concentrating on the region surrounding his North Carolina home.