The head of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said yesterday that he had given the FBI information linking a single person to a series of violent incidents at the group's regional offices, and that he will meet Friday with FBI Director William H. Webster to discuss the matter.
Former U.S. senator James G. Abourezk (D-S.D.), national chairman of the committee, said at a news conference that the information focuses on the person's "movements," which he said coincide with the incidents at the ADC offices, including a two-alarm fire here last Friday, and two bombings earlier this year that were aimed at former Nazi Party members.
Abourezk told a news conference that he believes the person is acting alone and not connected with the militant Jewish Defense League, which the FBI has said may be linked to the October bombing that killed the group's West Coast regional director. JDL has denied responsibility for the attack.
Abourezk, who said in an interview later that the information he has gathered is not conclusive, said there were indications that the person was in the Washington area when a two-alarm fire swept through a building at 1731 Connecticut Ave. NW that houses the committee's national headquarters.
The fire, which apparently began in a second-floor public relations firm two floors below the committee offices, is being investigated by the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the D.C. Fire Department and the D.C. police arson unit. The blaze, which has been called suspicious, has not been classified as arson pending completion of the investigation.
A fire investigator for a private security firm hired by the committee believes there is "no question" that the fire was deliberately set, the head of the firm has said.
Last month, an FBI spokesman said the bureau's specialists on terrorism had concluded "there is a possible link between the JDL" and an Oct. 11 bombing at the committee's Santa Ana, Calif., office, that fatally injured the organization's West Coast regional director, Alex Odeh.
The FBI also is investigating an incident in October in which two police officers were injured while detonating a bomb that was placed outside the committee's Boston office.
Abourezk said yesterday that he is "disappointed" that the FBI is not investigating the fire at the Connecticut Avenue o285ffice, "even though . . . it must surely be linked" to the other incidents and falls "within the FBI's antiterrorist jurisdiction."
The FBI has not joined the investigation of Friday's fire because there is no evidence that it was a "terrorist act," a spokesman said Monday.