Unabomber News History

Copyright 1995 The Washington Post

The Washington Post

May 07, 1995, Sunday, Final Edition


LENGTH: 390 words

HEADLINE: NASA Tells FBI To Post Unabom File Elsewhere


NASA officials, concerned that the so-called Unabomber might target agency scientists, last week told the FBI to remove a computer file that was set up as the first "Wanted" poster in cyberspace.

The FBI's Unabom file, accessible over the Internet, was created in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's computer in December 1993 to solicit tips in the case. The Unabom file, which was the first known use of the Internet in a major criminal investigation, offers a $ 1 million reward for clues leading to the arrest of the elusive suspect who since 1978 has killed three and injured 23 in attacks from New Jersey to California.

The document, which can be read by computer users on to the World Wide Web, will be accessible at a new address after it is moved to a Justice Department computer. It includes a sketch of the bomber and recounts the case's chronology. The file appears to have been last updated in March.

In a phone conversation Thursday, David Cooper of NASA's Ames Research Center in California told FBI special agent Joel Moss that the FBI must remove the file by June 30 because NASA officials fear its presence might provoke the bomber to attack agency scientists, according to an internal FBI memo. Previous Unabomber victims have included a number of scientists and professors.

Neither Cooper nor Moss would say whether the Unabomber had made specific threats against any NASA scientists.

"This is a sensitive issue here, and I've been advised not to comment on any of this matter until more time goes by," Cooper said.

NASA also told the FBI that agents working on the Unabom case may no longer receive e-mail about the case at the agency's Internet address and must remove any case files from NASA computers, the memo says.

Moss declined to comment.

The FBI will move the Unabomber file and another public file with information about last month's bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City to a computer run by the Justice Department, a NASA spokesman said.

Currently, a computer user who wants to read the FBI's Unabomber page would use a software program called a web browser that connects to files on the World Wide Web. The address of the FBI page, until the end of June, is http://naic.nasa.gov/fbi/

Officials said they do not yet know what the new address will be.