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Mar. 28th, 2006 | 04:52 pm

Where was I? I don't remember any of this crap on the news.


Suspect in Colorado Bombings Being Sought in Federal Arrest Warrant
Monday March 27

Authorities Studying Similarities Between Colorado and Tennessee Bombings

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo., March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal, state and local manhunt was under way today for Robert L. Burke as a suspect in Friday's string of bombings in Grand Junction.

A federal arrest warrant obtained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Grand Junction police sought Burke, a 54- year-old white male also known as Robert L. Pope, for alleged violations of federal explosives laws.

Burke is a former employee of Serco Group, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contractor that operates the tower at Walker Field Airport Authority in Grand Junction. He is suspected of having placed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at five residences in and around Grand Junction on Friday. There were no injuries in the bombings.

Grand Junction Interim Police Chief Bill Gardner said that all local airport facilities have been searched and found safe, and that increased patrols were ongoing in Mesa County. "We are in an extensive manhunt and my department's resources are committed to this investigation and a successful conclusion," he said. Gardner also reiterated earlier warnings that the public not touch or move unfamiliar packages and to call 9-1-1 should such a package be found.

"ATF is committed to tracking down this suspect," said ATF Resident Agent in Charge Kenny Spann, who added that all the evidence will be sent to an ATF laboratory for analysis.

ATF, Grand Junction police, Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Colorado State Patrol and the FBI are actively assisting in the investigation and search for Burke. ATF and its partners were also looking into similarities between the five IEDs found here and a recent bombing that occurred at a Serco corporate office in Tennessee.

The bombing in Tennessee occurred Feb. 1 when an IED detonated on the roof of the Serco project management office in Murfreesboro. No one was injured in that explosion, from which ATF, Tennessee State Bomb and Arson, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Murfreesboro Police and Fire departments collected evidence at the scene.

"There are similarities between the components and design of these devices in attacks on Serco employees in Grand Junction and Tennessee," Spann said.

Burke worked for Serco as an air traffic controller for 10 years until being dismissed in 2004.

Anyone having information that could lead authorities to Burke or his whereabouts should call 1-888-ATF-BOMB (283-2662) or the Grand Junction Police Department at (970) 242-6707.

Other partners in the Colorado investigation are the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General, U.S. Marshals Service, FAA, Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Bureau of Land Management and the Transportation Security Administration.

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