Copyright 1993 Globe Newspaper Company
The Boston Globe
December 22, 1993, Wednesday, City Edition
SECTION: METRO/REGION; Pg. 27
LENGTH: 456 words
HEADLINE: Bomb in Newton case went through mail
BYLINE: By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Globe Staff
Postal inspectors said yesterday that a package containing a powerful double pipe bomb, discovered by a Newton doctor Sunday night as he was opening the box, was sent through the mail, not hand-delivered to his house as originally suspected.
But investigators remained stymied in their attempts to trace the source of the homemade bomb or pin down a motive.
Investigators said they are quite sure, however, that the bomb was not the work of someone who has targeted university, computer and airline officials during the past two decades.
Paul A. Rosenberg, a doctor at Children's Hospital and an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, returned from vacation Sunday night and began to sort through accumulated mail. It was his unusual method of opening the rigged package that probably saved his life, police said.
Instead of lifting the side flaps of the box addressed to "Mr. Paul Rosenberg, M.D." and bearing the return address of "Union of American Hebrew Congregation" at 1330 Beacon St. in Brookline, Rosenberg took a knife to the package and cut around the top of the box, Newton police said. When Rosenberg spotted wires and a metal cylinder, he grabbed his wife, ran from the house and called police.
Although investigators are looking into every possibility - including the chance that the bomb may have been the work of an anti-Semitic terrorist - federal investigators said yesterday they think that scenario is unlikely.
"Of course they are looking at hate groups," said Terence McArdle, special agent in charge of the New England office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, "but the investigative leads they are pursuing would indicate it is not that.
"Today, somebody hates someone for something sooner or later."
McArdle said the investigation also points away from "Unabomb," a serial bomber who has targeted 14 university professors, computer scientists, engineers and one official in the airline industry between May 1978 and June 1992.
McArdle said there are no structual similarities between the bomb sent to Rosenberg and the sophisticated devices recovered from the Unabomb incidents.
Ed Gleba, public information officer for San Francisco office of the ATF, which is investigating a 1992 Unabomb incident at the University of California at San Francisco that cost a geneticist several fingers, said the Unabomber uses "unique" components in his bombs and has signed each with the initials "F.C."
Gleba said the Unabombs have arrived in packages the size of a videocassette and have been hand-addressed.
Rosenberg's package measured 12-by-10-by-3 inches, and its labels appeared to have been made on a copy machine or a laser printer, investigators said. LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: December 24, 1993