The serial mail bomber who has terrorized scientists and industry officials for 17 years has delivered a lengthy manifesto criticizing industrial society and has offered to cease his deadly attacks if the New York Times or the Washington Post publishes the document.
The Times and the Post received copies of the densely written manuscript, plus letters, on Wednesday. The newspapers turned over the material to FBI officials, who identified it as coming from the elusive terrorist that the agency calls UNABOM.
The terrorist, who authorities suspect is a man living somewhere in northern California, is believed to be responsible for 16 attacks that have killed three people and injured 23 others since 1978. He has threatened in a previous document to "start building our next bomb" if his manuscript is not published under the conditions he spells out in the letters,
The manuscript contains 56 pages of text, plus eleven pages of footnotes and other material. It expresses anarchistic sentiments, calling for worldwide revolution against the effects of modern society's "industrial-technological system."
One of the accompanying letters says that the New York Times has "first claim" to publish the manifesto and that "the same bargain" is offered to the Post if the Times does not print it or have it published elsewhere "reasonably soon."
A spokesman for the Times said the paper is studying the content of the material. Donald E. Graham, publisher of the Post, said in a written statement, "The Post takes this communication very seriously. We are considering how to respond, and we are consulting with law-enforcement officials."
Law-enforcement authorities said the manuscript also has been mailed to Penthouse magazine, but one letter from the bomber says he reserves the right to plant one more bomb if Penthouse alone prints the manifesto because then it won't be taken as seriously.
The bomber first disclosed his intention in April to issue the manifesto, and at that time Penthouse offered to publish it in full.