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Aipac Chief’s Home Bombed; No Injuries

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A bomb explosion this morning ripped the home of Morris J. Amitay, executive director of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), in nearby Rockville, Md. Neither Amitay nor his family were hurt but the explosion killed the family dog. The force of the explosion, which was described by a neighbor as sounding like a “sonic boom,” shattered windows in homes five blocks away. A fire department spokesman, surveying the extensive damage done to the house, said the Amitays were” very, very lucky” to be alive.

The explosion occurred about 3:15 this morning while Amitay, his wife Sybil, and their three children, aged 9, 12 and 14 were still asleep. About 400 feet of electric cord was found leading from the site of the blast. The bomb was planted outside the family room directly below where the Amitays were sleeping. Their dog was in the family room when the explosion occurred.

According to Montgomery County (Md.) police, “a great deal of structural damage” was caused by the “powerful explosion.” Much of the wall of one side of the house was “ripped off,” the police said. The sound of the explosion caused nearby residents to stream into the streets. The FBI is assisting in the investigation. It is not known who is responsible.

(In New York, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith expressed shock at “the savage terror bombing.” Burton M. Joseph, ADL’s national chairman, called upon the FBI and local police authorities to pursue their investigation with “vigorous dispatch so that the terrorist culprits are apprehended as quickly as possible.” The ADL extended sympathy to Amitay and his family and expressed relief that they had escaped personal injury.)

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