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Bombs Found at National Guard Base

July 19, 2000

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ An intruder at an Air National Guard base apparently scrawled anti-American graffiti and dropped a bag containing two bombs as security guards chased him Wednesday, authorities said. The bombs did not go off.

The FBI was searching for the man.

``We are taking this as a very serious act of international terrorism,″ FBI agent Brian Manganello said.

The FBI said it believes the man spray-painted red graffiti on two buildings and a satellite dish. A view of the 128th Air Refueling Wing base from a TV helicopter showed the words ``Free Kosovo″ scrawled on the dish.

During the NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia in 1999, 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,″ FBI agent Barry Babler said.

Regular personnel were not on the base when security guards spotted the man about 5 a.m. Wednesday. The guards chased him into a field, where he dropped the bag containing two round devices similar to pipe bombs, Manganello said.

A bomb squad defused the devices, he said.

The base was closed after the incident, and 150 to 175 personnel were given leave, said Lt. Col. Jim Waters. A sign reading ``actual threat condition″ was posted outside the gate.

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