US bombing suspect arrested

US Attorney General John Ashcroft announced on Saturday that a longtime fugitive suspected of carrying out a series of bombings in the southern United States had been arrested in North Carolina.

    Rudolph is suspected of being
    behind the 1996 Atlanta bombing

    Eric Robert Rudolph, 36, was hiding in a skip behind a store on Saturday when he was found at dawn by local authorities in the town of Murphy, according to David Martinez, an FBI spokesman in the state.


    The North Carolina town was where police found Rudolph’s abandoned pick-up truck after the 29 January 1998 bombing of an abortion clinic in Alabama. An off-duty police officer was killed and a nurse wounded in the blast.


    Rudolph is “the most notorious American fugitive on the FBI’s most-wanted list”, according to Ashcroft.


    Rudolph also faces federal charges stemming from a bomb explosion which killed a woman and injured more than 100 people during the 1996 Olympics at Centennial Olympic Park .


    He is also suspected of other bombings like the one that targeted a homosexual nightclub, which caused only injuries.


    Rudolph was believed likely to have been holed up for years in the mountains of western North Carolina.


    The nurse, who was injured by the Alabama blast, Emily Lyons, said in an interview aired on CNN that she would like to talk to Rudolph and ask him: "Why, what was it that you picked that day, that place, for what purpose? ... What were you trying to tell everybody that day?"


    "Either he stays in prison for the rest of his life, or the death penalty, either one", she said about the appropriate punishment that she thought he deserved.


    In 1998, the FBI included Rudolph on its most-wanted list and raised the reward for information that would lead to his detention from $100,000 to $1 million.


    Following the bombings, authorities carried out an intense search for Rudolph through the wooded, rural areas of the southern United States.


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