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False Olympic Bomb Threat Reported

Monday, February 23, 1998; 3:56 a.m. EST

TOKYO (AP) — A letter threatening to bomb Winter Olympic facilities in Nagano led Japanese police to secretly strengthen security during the just-concluded 16-day games, police said today.

Sadao Yamamoto, a spokesman with the Nagano prefectural, or state, police, said the bomb threat turned out to be false.

The Winter games ended peacefully on Sunday, but there was some traffic congestion reported on roads leading to Olympic sites during the period because of tightened security, police sources said.

A letter, written in German and postmarked in Frankfurt, had arrived at the Nagano Olympic Committee around Feb. 8, Yamamoto said. He said the letter, which had no return address, read in part, ``My client is in a state of starvation.''

It demanded the Nagano Olympic Committee transfer $1 million to an account at a postal office in Berlin with a deadline of Feb. 19, Yamamoto said.

Yamamoto refused to say why police did not reveal the threatening letter's existence soon after it arrived. The spokesman also did not say whether Japanese police had asked German police for cooperation in the investigation.

A National Police Agency spokesman in Tokyo refused to comment on the bomb threat.

On Feb. 2, three homemade rockets were fired into a cargo plane area at Tokyo's main international airport at Narita, injuring one airport worker. Two of the projectiles exploded.

The ultra-leftist Revolutionary Workers Association later claimed responsibility for that attack, which came at a time when athletes, officials and spectators had been arriving at the airport on their way to Nagano.

Radicals say the government is attempting to use the airport for military purposes.

On Feb. 7, more than 300 passengers were evacuated from a Japan Airlines domestic flight after a man called the airline with a false bomb threat.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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