The FBI has warned the city's black mayor and a black federal judge that they could be targets of a roaming sniper who, according to a newspaper report, was in Birmingham 11 days ago.
The Birmingham Post-Harold reported that the suspect, Joseph Franklin, was in Birmingham Oct. 14. It was not known when, or if, he left. The newspaper said Franklin apparently had obtained a new Alabama drivers license listing his name as either Joseph or James Howard Kitts.
Joseph Ross, special agent in charge of the Birmingham FBI office, said the two black officials were warned because of their "high profile," but he would neither confirm nor deny the report that Franklin had been in Birmingham.
Franklin has been charged with violating the civil rights of two black men who were shot and killed Aug. 20 as they jogged with two white women in Salt Lake City, and is wanted for questioning in sniper-slayings in five other cities and the attempted assassination of Vernon Jordan, director of the National Urban League.
The city assigned a third bodyguard to Mayor Richard Arrington, but a spokesman for U.S. District Court Judge U. W. Clemon said the jurist had not taken any extra precautions.