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Army of God Claims Credit for Birmingham Bombing
BIRMINGHAM, AL, 5:50 PM Central Standard Time -- The FBI has apparently just confirmed that letters from the Army of God were recieved today by Atlanta news agencies which claim responsibility for the January 29, 1998 fatal bombing in Birmingham, AL. These letters must be taken seriously. Almost one year ago, similar letters were received by news agencies in Atlanta claiming credit for the Jan. 16, 1997 clinic bombings and the Feb. 19, 1997 bombing of a Lesbian bar. The 1997 Army of God letter had threatened that "the next facility targeted may not BE EMPTY" and that "the Attack thereforE (SIC) serves as a warning : anyone in or around facilities that murder children may become victims of retribution."
The bombing in Birmingham and the bombing in Atlanta both involved anti- personnel bombs. Until the Atlanta bombing, these kinds of devices, deliberately constructed to kill and injure, had not been used.
For years, we have been aware of the Army of God and its terrorist activities directed at abortion clinics and clinic personnel. The Army of God first gained national visibility in 1982 with the kidnapping of Dr. Hector Zevallos, an abortion provider, and his wife in Granite City, Illinois. Members of the Army of God claimed responsibility for and were later convicted of the kidnapping. In 1994, an Army of God manual on bombing and terrorism was dug up in the backyard of Shelley Shannon of Oregon, who was later convicted for the attempted murder of Dr. George Tiller and some 30 counts of arson and bombings in the Pacific Northwest.
For some time, we have believed that a group of people have been acting in concert to terrorize abortion clinics. We have been saying that these extremists are not single issue and that they believe in justifiable homicide against lesbians and gay men and adulterers as well as abortion providers.
Extremists are putting their religious beliefs above the U.S. Constitution. Or they are using religion as a cover not only to threaten the lives of those who believe in reproductive choice and choice in lifestyles, but democracy itself. More law enforcement resources must be allocated to cracking this reign of terror and this investigation must not treat the Birmingham bombings as isolated events.