- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 5, 2002

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Five pipe bombs were found in rural Nebraska mailboxes yesterday, officials said, heightening worries among Midwesterners already on edge after similar bombs injured six persons a day earlier in Iowa and Illinois.
Federal officials had described the earlier bombings as an act of domestic terrorism and said anti-government propaganda and notes warning of more "attention getters" were found nearby.
It was not immediately clear whether similar notes were found with the pipe bombs discovered yesterday.
Postal Service Vice President Azeezaly Jaffer confirmed yesterday afternoon that five pipe bombs similar to those discovered Friday had been found in mailboxes near the central Nebraska towns of Scotia, Cairo, Columbus, Davenport and Ohiowa. He said none of those bombs had exploded.
Earlier yesterday, federal authorities announced they had some leads on who may have planted the pipe bombs in rural mailboxes in eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois on Friday, but they didn't know if one person or several people were responsible.
The note left with the bombs had said more "could be delivered to various locations around the country," and postal officials in Washington had advised mail carriers across the country to be cautious.
The Nebraska State Patrol also issued an alert yesterday for rural residents to use caution when opening their mailboxes.
In all, eight pipe bombs were found in Iowa and Illinois on Friday, said Thomas Ahearn, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Chicago. Four postal workers and two residents were injured, but none had life-threatening injuries. One woman remained hospitalized in fair condition yesterday.
A map of Friday's bomb sites forms a jagged circle straddling the Mississippi River and covering part of eastern Iowa and the northwest corner of Illinois.
Yesterday's pipe bombs were found about 350 miles west of there. Interstate 80 runs through both areas.
"You might find a beer can in a mailbox every once in a while around here, but not a bomb. Somebody obviously is screwed up in the head," said Cathy Meyer, an Ohiowa resident and former postmaster in the area.
"This obviously is very, very troubling that someone would do this," Miss Meyer said.
One pipe bomb was found in a roadside mailbox at a farm about a mile and a half southeast of Ohiowa, about 50 miles southwest of Lincoln. A Nebraska State Patrol bomb technician inspected the device at the mailbox, then detonated it, officials said.
Another pipe bomb was found 20 miles farther west at a farm near Davenport, Village Board Chairman Don Ahrens said. Roads were closed around the area, and officers were directing motorists away.
In Iowa and Illinois, postal officials and local authorities said they would inspect 10,800 mailboxes in counties where bombs had been found to make sure there weren't any more.
FBI Special Agent Jim Bogner said yesterday that authorities had some promising leads, and he invited whoever was responsible to contact the FBI.


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