By: Mark Fitzgerald
ON THE SECOND day of 1997, four mail bombs arrived at the Washington bureau of the Arab-language Egyptian paper Al Hayat on the 11th floor of the National Press Building in Washington, D.C. Similar mail bombs ? musical holiday greeting cards loaded with the plastique Semtex and bearing Dec. 21, 1996 postmarks from Alexandria, Egypt ? went to Al Hayat’s London bureau, the United Nations and the nonexistent “parole officer” at the federal penitentiary in Levenworth, Kan. Only the London bomb detonated, injuring one person.
A year later, there have been no arrests in the incidents. FBI spokeswoman Susan Lloyd said calls claiming responsibility proved not credible. “We still have not determined what the motive might have been . . . [nor] certainly who might have sent the bombs,” she said. In August, the Department of Justice offered a reward of up to $2 million for information in the bombing.
Part of the investigation centers on Levenworth itself, whose inmates include convicted World Trade Center bomber Mohammed Salameh.
Rafic Maalouf, managing editor of Al Hayat’s D.C. bureau, said no further attacks or threats have been aimed there.
?( E&P Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com)
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher January 3, 1998)