Friday, February 24, 2012

Flashback: Israeli Suicide Bomber Attempts to Blow Up U.S. Capitol

Editor's Note:  Notice how there are no signs of FBI entrapment for this incident...

Associated Press

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 1983—The Capitol police re-adjusted metal detectors and installed sensitive bomb-detecting equipment last month after a tourist entered the House gallery with a homemade bomb under his shirt.

Jack Russ, the sergeant-at-arms of the House, said today that the urgent steps following the Oct. 18 scare were the beginning of a tighter security system.

In an interview, Mr. Russ said the bomb taken into the building ''was not a dud.'' It failed to explode because the man ''had not placed his wiring properly,'' he said.

Aiming at Tighter Security

If the new detection devices and metal detector settings had been in place Oct. 18, he added, the man ''would not have been able to get in the front doors,'' adding that ''I think we'll have the state of the art'' in security measures when the changes were made.

The Capitol Police said the man arrested in the gallery was Israel Rubinowits, a 22-year-old Israeli who threatened to blow up the Capitol when approached by the police. His court-appointed lawyer, Carl Angelis, told a hearing in the District of Columbia Superior Court that Mr. Rubinowits wanted to address Congress about world hunger.

Mr. Rabinowits was charged with making threats of bodily harm, a charge that carries a maximum 20-year prison term and a $5,000 fine. He was held when he failed to make bond of $25,000.

Mr. Russ said Mr. Rubinowits had under his clothes two plastic one-liter bottles wrapped in cardboard, strapped to his body with a rope and wrapped in a white cloth bag. The thin copper wire attached to the bottles did not set off a metal detector outside the gallery entrance.

irections for Making a Bomb

The bottles contained black powder, a flammable liquid of unknown composition, glass, stones, ceramic tile and metal fragments, Mr. Russ said. The man carried several typed pages with diagrams entitled, ''How I Made the Bomb,'' instructions that were ''technically correct,'' Mr. Russ added.

The device was taken to the Fort Belvoir in suburban Virginia and was exploded.

Mr. Russ said preliminary estimates indicated that the blast could have had the force of two to five sticks of dynamite, enough to injure ''quite a few people.''

As the House was voting on establishing a medal to commemorate Vietnam veterans, the man got up, walked to the front rail of gallery and pulled out the device.

Mr. Russ said that Mr. Rubinowits was flicking a switch on a battery when four plainclothes officers closed in. ''Stop or I will blow it up,'' Mr. Rubinowits yelled before he could be subdued.

Congress has metal detectors outside each gallery entrance, but on Oct. 18, Mr. Russ said, the machines were calibrated to pick up such items as guns, knives and large belt buckles.
''We have made them more sensitive,'' he said. ''We have made significant changes and we intend to make more.''

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