Elusive bomber renews campus reign of terror: The West is agonising again over giving the Muslims the firepower to defend themselves - while a carve-up threatens to shatter their state

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A BOMBER who has carried out more than a dozen attacks on universities and high-technology companies has re-emerged to terrorise US academics.

Campuses were tightening security yesterday after the attacker, dubbed 'Unibom' (for University Bomber) by law enforcement officials, sent mail bombs that badly injured two prominent academics. The attacks marked the resumption of a 15-year terror campaign.

Although the FBI and other agencies have been seeking the bomber since the late 1970s, they have failed to find any motive for his attacks, mainly on technology departments and computer companies, which have injured more than 20 people and killed one.

On Tuesday, Charles Epstein, a renowned geneticist at the University of California in San Francisco, lost several fingers and suffered severe chest injuries after he opened a padded brown envelope at his home. Dr Epstein (59) is widely known for his research into Down's Syndrome and other genetic defects.

Two days later, the authorities believe, 'Unibom' struck again, when a prominent computer science professor at Yale University, David Gelernter (38), was critically injured by a letter bomb. He is also well known, not least because he invented a program language that he named Linda, after the porn star Linda Lovelace.

The attack was as baffling as the other bombings police say Unibom carried out during the 1970s and 1980s. Federal authorities said these include seven attacks on universities, blasts at technology companies and a parcel bomb in 1980 that injured the president of United Airlines.

The mystery deepened last week when the New York Times received a letter, postmarked before the latest incidents, which warned of a 'newsworthy event'. It was purportedly from an anarchist group called 'FC', which the authorities have linked with the earlier bombings. The letter promised to explain its author's goals at a future date.