Plans to Bomb Atlanta Synagogue Mapped in May, Suspect Tells Police

Atlanta police today announced that one of the suspects held for questioning in connection with the bombing of The Temple here Sunday signed a statement declaring that the dynamiting of the synagogue was planned last May by an anti-Semitic group of which he was a member.

The informant asked that his name be withheld, fearing his home would be bombed if the underground group learned his identity. “They will kill me if they find out I talked,” he said. Police said they now have the names of five men who plotted to blow up the Reform temple.

The detained suspect said one member of the anti-Semitic group, who has worked as an architect, drew plans of the Jewish temple showing exactly where the explosive charge was to be placed. The dynamite was to have been obtained from Harlan, Ky., and set off by a man brought from Birmingham, Ala., he stated.

Police quoted the informant as saying that he objected to the bombing and was not invited to attend later sessions. The man’s statement might prove to be the first real break in the investigation of bombings of synagogues throughout the South, police said.

FBI agents joined with state and city authorities and police from neighboring states in investigating every angle of the statement. The name of the anti-Semitic organization was not made public, but police said they were told it had several members in every major Southern city. Detectives picked up four persons for questioning.

The Atlanta newspapers and church organizations today continued to denounce the bombing of the temple. Contributions from non-Jews continued to pour into the Mayor’s fund for reconstructing the demolished section of the temple. The Jewish community is highly gratified by the energetic action of the police and the FBI, and by the special attention given by Mayor William B. Hartsfield to the outrage.

Mayor Hartsfield’s friendship toward Jews in general and toward Israel is demonstrated by the fact that, prior to Sunday’s bombing, he had been chosen by the Israel Bond Organization in this city as guest of honor at a Bond dinner to be held here November 9.

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