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Nebraska Officials Discuss Pipe Bombings

Aired May 4, 2002 - 18:03   ET


CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: Right now we want to take you right to Nebraska where there is a news conference under way about the latest pipe bombs that were found in mailboxes there. Let's listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... investigating these incidents. The devices that have been found today in Nebraska have similarities to those that were found yesterday in Iowa and Illinois. At least one of the devices, the one found in Iowa has a note associated with it, and it appears that some of the other devices may as well. We are working to determine the contents of the note, but I cannot offer any more information about that at present.

To the individual or individuals responsible for this, if they're listening, I would like to say that you have gotten our attention. The fact that we have the governor of the state of Nebraska here, the United States Attorney, and these various other law enforcement officials, I think proves that you have gotten our attention. However, we are not certain we understand your message, and we would like to hear from you. We are listening, and you do not need to send any more attention-getters, because you have our attention.

Anyone who believes that they have information about these incidents is requested to please come forward. The person responsible for this is potentially placing him or herself in danger, as well as others around them in danger, simply by constructing and transporting these devices.

Citizens who have any information to report are requested to contact the FBI in Omaha at 402-493-8688. I'll let -- Governor Johanns...

MIKE JOHANNS, GOVERNOR OF NEBRASKA: My name is Mike Johanns and I am the governor of the State of Nebraska. Let me also indicate to whoever is involved that very definitely they do have our attention. We are obviously concerned about the safety of our citizens. So, my message to people in the state of Nebraska is that if they see anything that looks suspicious, relative to mail delivery, or the place where their mail is delivered -- their post office box or whatever, their mailbox.

If they see something that doesn't look right, needless to say they should not investigate on their own. We want individuals in those circumstances to call the local sheriff's department or police department and get us involved immediately. We appreciate the media work that has been done by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

We intend to work with them, and, again, I would just assert that whoever is out there who has done this, we have heard from you. And we ask that you reach us without any more effort like this. So, with that, I just ask people to be safe and report anything that may be suspicious to local authorities and we'll deal with it. Thank you.

MIKE HEAVICAN, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR NEBRASKA: My name is Mike Heavican -- that's spelled H-E-A-V-I-C-A-N. I'm the U.S. Attorney for the state of Nebraska.

I likewise would like to emphasize that we are concerned about public safety; we want any individuals who have any knowledge of this to come forward, and cooperate with law enforcement. I want to thank the cooperative effort that has gone on thus far with the FBI, the state patrol, ATF, and various other state and local agencies and other federal agencies, postal inspectors and so forth. I have been in contact with my counterparts in Iowa and Illinois and this is being investigated in conjunction with them. We are doing everything we can to protect the public. Please come forward and help us solve what is now a currently an unsolved problem. Thank you.

DUNN: Questions.

QUESTION: Can you tell me were these explosives sent in the mail, or were they dropped at the mailboxes, or what?

DUNN: None of these devices has been sent through the mail. That's all the devices in Nebraska as well as the Iowa and Illinois. It is our belief that they were physically placed into the mailboxes

QUESTION: Agent Dunn, you -- the Nebraska and Iowa division is a relatively small division. What is your manpower situation -- given the -- that Iowa and Nebraska problems, too.

DUNN: We have agents firmly stationed in both states, needless to say. All of our resources are working on this matter. Additionally, a significant number of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, from the United States Postal Service, and from the appropriate state, county, and local agencies are all working cooperatively on this effort, so we have a sizable number of law enforcement officials working to ensure that everybody is safe and that nobody gets hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I might add to that, we have placed the state patrol, of course, on alert -- that was the first thing we did, so all across the state, state patrol have been briefed on this. They are in touch with local law enforcement officials, so there is a lot of effort being brought to bear here. It's not just the agents of the FBI.

QUESTION: What does "on alert" mean -- if you could just elaborate. DUNN: Well what we're telling our patrol is to pay attention to what they're doing out there and make sure that they're looking for anything suspicious; they're working with local officials if need be, we'll put on overtime, whatever it takes to deal with the situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...what kind of device are we talking about here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, first of all with regard to notes, we have only one confirmed note, in Nebraska, but it appears that there may be more than one but I can't speak definitively on that yet.


DUNN: We're still working to determine what is on the message. It's not immediately apparent to us what's on the message because in order to make the device safe, there was certain damage done to the note.

As far as what the devices look like, again, we have people on scene at all five locations in Nebraska and the reports are coming in as we speak. Of the ones where I do have a fairly conclusive description, the devices have been described as pipe bombs. Basically -- you know, pipes, metallic pipes, of roughly one inch by six inches long and -- you know, in some cases with wires or a battery -- something like that.

CALLAWAY: You've been listening to a news conference in Nebraska. That is Wyson Dunn you see there -- he is the FBI assistant in charge of this case. More pipe bombs were found, this time in Nebraska, they were five different suspected pipe bombs in mailboxes in five different areas, all in separate counties. Of course, there are no reports of injuries in this case. As you know, we had pipe bombs in Iowa and Illinois yesterday that left six people injured. Apparently, this incident in Nebraska, no one has been injured.

We also heard from Governor Mike Johanns, and Wyson Dunn with the FBI, both saying that to whoever sent these bombs, we have -- you have our attention, we are listening, please stop doing this and contact us. We also heard Wyson Dunn say that there appears to be some similarities in the cases in Iowa and Illinois and the cases in Nebraska. This, because there were apparently some notes found with the bombs in Nebraska. No confirmation on that; there does appear to be some similarities. WE will continue to follow this case for you, and as more information becomes available, we will certainly bring it to you.




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