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National Guard Bomb Suspect Held

July 20, 2000

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ A man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of breaking into an Air National Guard base, scrawling graffiti on buildings and leaving behind a bag containing two bombs.

The 30-year-old man was expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee later Thursday, FBI special agent David J. Williams said.

Authorities, acting on a tip from a hot line, arrested the man at his Milwaukee home, Williams said. The suspect, a pilot, has a local arrest record related to graffiti, Williams said.

The FBI said an intruder scrawled graffiti reading ``Free Kosova″ on a satellite dish early Wednesday at the 128th Air Refueling Wing compound. Kosova is an Albanian spelling of Kosovo.

The man’s nationality was not immediately known, Williams said.

He had no credentials that would have allowed him to get past the complex gate, Williams said. It was unclear how the intruder got in, Williams said.

As security guards chased the intruder, he dropped a bag containing two pipe bomb-type devices.

Detonation specialists from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department defused the devices later Wednesday.

During the NATO air strikes in Yugoslavia in 1999, aimed at ending ethnic repression by Serb forces against ethnic Albanians, the 128th Air Refueling Wing sent about 170 members to a base outside London, where they serviced aircraft flying in NATO’s air operations in Kosovo.

Judging by the graffiti, ``it was someone who was opposed to the U.S. involvement in Kosovo,″ FBI special agent Barry Babler said.

Lt. Col. Jim Waters defended security measures at the base.

``Our security forces did their job and prevented something from happening that was much worse,″ he said.

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