Two pipe bombs, one of which carried an anti-war message, were discovered Wednesday at offices used by a U.S. congressman and a university ROTC program and later disarmed by police.
The bomb left at the Santa Barbara office of U.S. Rep. Robert J. Lagomarsino (R-Ventura) was accompanied by a note, taped to a window, that began: “You Can’t Ignore This War. . . .” The top of the note was still visible Wednesday, but the rest of the message had been removed by authorities.
A group calling itself The Rites of Spring left recorded messages Wednesday morning at several local newspapers and radio stations claiming responsibility.
At the Daily Nexus, the student newspaper at UC Santa Barbara, a reporter said the message indicated opposition to the war and stated: “Somebody has to take a stand.”
The message also stated that a third bomb had been left at the UCSB administration building. But by the end of the day, no bomb had been found.
The two bombs that were discovered were 18-inch pipe bombs with string fuses and powder explosives, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s spokesman Tim Gracey. They were disarmed by a joint police and sheriff bomb squad. The FBI also is investigating the case. Police said they had no information about the group.
Late Tuesday night, fire destroyed much of the campus registrar’s office, but authorities are uncertain whether the incident was related, said UCSB Police Lt. Bill Bean. An initial investigation indicated that the fire, which caused about $500,000 in damage, was caused by a faulty electrical outlet. But because of the bombs, arson investigators are conducting a more thorough examination of the building, Bean said.
The bombs discovered Wednesday had been placed in the open--outside the front doors of the two facilities, said Gracey of the Sheriff’s Department. The bomb outside the Reserve Officer Training Corps building was noticed by a campus employee at 2:30 a.m. A note also accompanied the bomb, but police would not reveal the contents.
An employee at the building where Lagomarsino’s office is located saw the second pipe bomb when she arrived for work at 8:30 a.m. Lagomarsino voted to support the use of force to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.