Fugitive charged with Olympics bombing

ERIC RUDOLPH, the suspect in the bombing of an Alabama abortion clinic early this year who has been on the run since January, was charged last night with the bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta as well as two other attacks in the same city.

Federal officials believe they have enough evidence to link Mr Rudolph with the blast at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, which killed one person and injured 100 others. They have also tied Mr Rudolph, 31, to two other bombings of a gay bar and an Atlanta abortion clinic.

Already among the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives in America, Mr Rudolph was last seen near his North Carolina home on 30 January, one day after the attack on the clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. That blast killed an off-duty police officer and injured a nurse.

For nine months, scores of investigators have been searching the mountainous wilderness of western North Carolina, where Mr Rudolph is believed to be in hiding in the forests. A reward of $1m has been offered to anyone able to reveal his whereabouts.

By publicising the charges, officials hope to depict Mr Rudolph as a serial bomber and a terrorist. There have been concerns that if he is portrayed as an anti-abortion campaigner only, he may be considered a martyr and protected by people who are also opposed to legal abortion.

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