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Similar Devices Used in East Coast and Southern California Bombings

October 24, 1985

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Two bombs aimed at East Coast residents who served with or under the Nazis during World War II were similar to the device that killed the leader of a pro-Arab group here earlier this month, the FBI says.

The booby-trap devices used to trigger the bombs were similar, investigators said Wednesday.

″We’re certainly aware of the similarities between the three bombings and as a matter of routine things like this are compared,″ said Joseph Valiquette, a spokesman for the FBI in New York.

″But we’re not saying we definitely believe the bombings were committed by the same group or person,″ he told the Los Angeles Times.

Michael McDonnell, a spokesman for the FBI’s Newark, N.J., office, also said there were similarities in the types of bombs.

″But to say there are similarities, we’re not necessarily saying the same group or individuals were involved,″ he added.

The first bombing occurred Aug. 15 at the Paterson, N.J., home of Tscherim Soobzokov, 61, who had successfully fought attempts to deport him on U.S. Justice Department charges that he had concealed membership in the Waffen SS. Soobzokov, who acknowledged Waffen membership but denied any war crimes, died of injuries a month after the explosion.

The second bombing occurred Sept. 6 at the Long Island, N.Y., home of Elmars Sprogis, 70, a police chief in Nazi-occupied Latvia during World War II. Sprogis was not hurt, but the blast injured a passer-by.

Sprogis also had successfully fought deportation. A judge ruled that while he may have been present when Jews were persecuted, there was no proof he participated.

Earlier this month in Santa Ana, Alex Odeh was killed by a bomb that destroyed the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee offices.

Odeh, 41, was the group’s West Coast regional director.

The Oct. 11 explosion was triggered when Odeh opened the door to his office, investigators said.

Investigators earlier this month said evidence from the Santa Ana blast was being compared with that of an explosion Aug. 16 in front of a Boston building housing the Massachusetts chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

In the Boston blast, a 12-inch pipe bomb equipped with an egg timer exploded while a police officer was trying to dismantle the device. The officer was seriously injured.

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