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Bomb Threat Before Hockey Game with Soviets; Device Found

January 7, 1986

BOSTON (AP) _ City police, acting after a telephoned bomb threat, found a grenade Monday in a trash can at Boston Garden, hours before the Boston Bruins played a Soviet team in an exhibition hockey game marked by anti-Soviet protests.

″The device was found to be a live grenade taped to an alarm clock,″ said police Lt. Joseph Ferrullo. The alarm clock could have detonated the grenade.

The device, which Detective Mary Evans said was found during a routine pre- game sweep of the arena, was taken to the department’s bomb disposal site on Moon Island in Boston Harbor, where it was defused.

It was found 20 minutes before members of the Moscow Dynamo Squad arrived at the Garden, in a trash barrel just inside the main entrance, said police Superintendent Martin Mulkern. The FBI was called into the case.

The threat was called into The Associated Press office by a male who said: ″Dynamos must die. Bomb. Trash can. Public garden. Call police.″

At least 100 pickets organized by the Jewish Defense League chanted ″KGB go home″ as the first of an expected 6,000 to 8,000 fans arrived at the sports arena, which holds more than 14,000 people.

″I just found out about it. I have no idea who did it. I condemn it,″ Kenneth Sidman, head of the Boston chapter of the JDL, said of the bomb threat as he arrived for the demonstration.

The Soviets received a few, widely scattered boos when they skated out on to the ice, and red dye was thrown on the playing surface.

When the Soviet national anthem was sung, two men invaded the overhang of the first balcony and started yelling, but were quickly ejected by security yards.

Sidman said he told Bruins officials in a Dec. 15 letter the match could spark violence.

″The Soviets use sports not because they’re fair-minded people but as political propaganda to convince us they are no different from Americans and we want the same things,″ Sidman said.

″But there is a difference. Americans want to preserve freedom and the KGB wants to destroy it,″ he said in a speech to the protestors.

Bruins general manager Harry Sinden said the National Hockey League team had little choice but to play the Soviets.

″As long as we are part of the NHL we have to do our part,″ said Sinden. ″Somebody had to play them. It’s been a long time since we played them (January 1979) and we thought it was time for us to do our part again.″

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