A Texas man has pleaded guilty to bombing a Fairfax County gynecological clinic two summers ago.
A federal grand jury alleged the bombing was part of a widespread campaign of violence and intimidation by a small antiabortion group called the Army of God.
Don Benny Anderson, 43, a leader of the organization, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, arson and crossing state lines to commit arson, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.
In exchange for Anderson's guilty plea on the three charges, federal prosecutors agreed last week to drop three other related charges.
Sentencing has been set for March 22. Anderson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and $30,000 in fines.
Anderson was charged with bombing the Arlington-Fairfax Medical Clinic on Arlington Boulevard near Seven Corners and committing other explosives-related offenses.
A woman working in the clinic was thrown to the ground by a pipe explosion June 6, 1982.
The blast caused $18,000 in damages, federal prosecutors said.
Anderson is serving a 30-year sentence in federal prison on an extortion conviction stemming from the abduction in 1982 of an abortion clinic doctor and his wife in Illinois.
He was also sentenced by a Florida state judge to 30 years in prison last October for burning two abortion clinics in the state. That sentence is to run concurrently with his federal sentence, federal prosecutors said.
According to the indictment against Anderson, the Army of God was organized in November 1981 to promote the antiabortion movement and to interfere with the activities of abortion clinics throughout the country.
In furtherance of those goals, prosecutors have charged, Anderson and two other members of the Army of God, Matthew Maxson Moore and Wayne Allen Moore, who were named as unindicted coconspirators, went to Florida.
There, members of the group set fire to the St. Petersburg Woman's Health Center in St. Petersburg, and to the Bread and Roses Clinic in Clearwater on May 29, 1982.
The men then traveled to Northern Virginia, where they assembled bombs and placed one at the Arlington-Fairfax Medical Clinic, federal prosecutors said.
They then went to Illinois and abducted Dr. Hector Zavallos, an official of the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, and his wife, Rosalie Jeanne Zavallos, according to court papers.
The couple was released unharmed after eight days, and the three men were arrested afterward.
After their arrests, there were no further incidents against abortion clinics claimed by the Army of God until Feb. 17 when a Norfolk clinic was firebombed.
A message signed 'AOG' was found in the building.
A Prince George's County clinic that performs abortions was damaged by a firebomb Feb. 28.
Shortly after the bombing, a group identifying itself as The Army of God called the news media and claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The clinic--the Prince George's Reproductive Health Services--was closed as a result of the $80,000 in damage incurred in the bombing.
No one was injured in the incident.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Aronica said yesterday he knew of no connection between the Fairfax bombing and more recent incidents.