Man Held on Gun Charges Ruled Out as the Unabomber

from Times Wire Services

Law enforcement and U.S. government officials said Sunday that a man arrested here on weapon and traffic violations was not the elusive terrorist known as the Unabomber.

Evanston Police Chief Gerald Cooper told a news conference that the FBI's UNABOM task force had been called in to question the man but had ruled him out as the serial bomber.

CBS radio news, citing an unidentified source, said authorities found bomb-making equipment in the 37-year-old man's maroon van and, in his Evanston home, a typewriter with a font that could match the type used in one or more of the letters attributed to the Unabomber.

Police said they called in the FBI because of the suspicious nature of the items in the van but refused to confirm or deny the CBS report, as did the FBI.

Cooper said the man arrested Saturday would be charged with unlawful use of weapons and traffic violations relating to expired California license plates.

In Washington, White House Chief of Staff Leon E. Panetta said on the NBC-TV program "Meet the Press" that authorities had concluded that there was no link to the Unabomber.

The Unabomber, so dubbed because his first targets were universities, has been linked to 16 bombs that have killed three people and injured 23 since 1978.

Last month, the New York Times and the Washington Post published a lengthy anti-technology manifesto by the bomber after he said he would stop killing if it was printed.

The FBI has organized a huge task force to hunt for the Unabomber and has been concentrating its search in the Chicago area, where it believes he was raised and educated before moving to California in the early 1980s. The Unabomber's first two attacks were in Evanston at Northwestern University's Technological Institute.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World