Unabomber News History

Copyright 1994 Telegraph Group Limited

The Daily Telegraph

December 14, 1994, Wednesday


LENGTH: 650 words

HEADLINE: FBI puts up $ 1m reward as bomber kills again

BYLINE: By Charles Laurence in New York


AN FBI sketch of the man known as "Unabomber" was posted around America with a $ 1 million reward yesterday as more than 100 detectives assembled into a new task force briefed to catch a serial bomber who has evaded them for 16 years. The picture is the one clue to the bomber who detectives are convinced killed Mr Thomas Mosser with a parcel bomb delivered to his New Jersey home. Mr Mosser, 50, a senior executive of the Young and Rubicam advertising agency, who returned to New York from a posting in London this year, was the second fatality in a bombing campaign which has injured 23 others. But the FBI admits that it is little closer to laying a hand on Unabomber than it was when his first parcel bomb exploded in 1978. Unabomber's first targets were airlines and universities, which prompted the FBI to tag the case Unabomb. The sketch depicts a man in his 30s or 40s, with reddish-blond hair, a moustache and a strong jaw-line. He is shown with his head covered by a jogging-suit hood and wearing dark glasses. This is the man as described by a woman shortly before one of the explosions. There has been no other sighting of Unabomber. The bomb that killed Mr Mosser was described as the most powerful to date. Slipped into a parcel about the size of hardback book, it blew a two-foot-deep crater below the kitchen counter where Mr Mosser opened it, and nearly decapitated him. The link between all his victims so far is their involvement with high-technology, either in industry or in universities. Young and Rubicam has recently taken on major contracts with two of the country's top hi-tech companies, Digital Equipment Corporation and the Xerox Corporation. Between 1987 and last year there was a lull in the attacks; Unabomber may have been in jail. But in June last year, the New York Times received a letter warning of a "newsworthy event", signed by "an anarchist group calling ourselves FC". The initials FC, thought to be an obscene reference to computers, have been found in the debris of the bombs. Shortly afterwards, two scientists were injured by almost identical bombs: Mr Charles Epstein, a geneticist at the University of California lost several fingers as he opened a parcel; two days later Mr David Gelerther, a Yale computer scientist, was seriously injured. Detectives believe Unabomber's basic motive is a Luddite reaction to modern technology: he may, for instance, have lost a job to a computer. But the unpredictability of his targets has wrong-footed them. Yesterday, major companies and universities were taking all security measures possible amid the Christmas postal rush, particularly since police say that Unabomber has a pattern of striking twice. "There's a good bit of anxiety, understandably. We've been taking a lot of calls," said Mr Robert McGuire, president of Kroll Associates, the security consultants. The one-man terror campaign has left a jigsaw with hundreds of pieces, but few clues as to how they should go together. Mr Jim Freeman, the FBI special agent in charge of the San Francisco office leading the hunt, said: "We have been using computer support to pull together millions of bits of information. When everything comes together, it will seem so obvious." The San Francisco Bay area is thought to be Unabomber's principal stamping ground because at least eight of his 15 attacks have some link with the area. The bomb that killed Mr Mosser held evidence, like others, of being posted from the area. The FBI knows Unabomber best through his bombs which have become increasingly sophisticated and powerful. Their unique stamp lies in the craftsmanship of their construction. The wood used in the cases is polished to a high sheen, springs are cunningly coiled by hand from paper clips and even the half-inch screws he uses are hand-made. The FBI believes Unabomber is now motivated mainly by a maniacal pride in his bomb-making.