Police Pressing Bomb Search; FBI Role Hazy
Cambridge police are continuing their investigation of the bombing at the Center for International Affairs with one primary suspect, a young woman, based on a description supplied Thursday by a CFIA professor and confirmed yesterday by a second CFIA professor.
Referring to the second professor, who does not wish to be identified, a Cambridge detective said, "His ideas [about the suspect] correspond to the composite picture, except for slight features in the nose."
On Thursday, President Nixon signed an anti-crime bill enabling FBI agents to move on college campuses without the request of local authorities. Boston newspapers reported that Nixon ordered the FBI to probe the CFIA bombing.
Nevertheless, the role of the FBI in this case remains unclear. Some think that because Nixon signed the bill after the CFIA bombing, FBI agents cannot enter the case directly. Others say that
as of Thursday, FBI agents can legally work as the primary investigatory agency.
Special Agent James Healy, based in Washington, pointed out that "until this new legislation was signed, we had no further authority" than acting in a liaison capacity-offering local investigators the FBI's laboratory and identification facilities, and coverage of out-of-state leads.
Healy referred the question of current FBI participation in the case to Ralph Rampton, assistant director of the Boston bureau. Rampton refused to comment.
Cambridge detectives seem confused about the FBI, too. Yesterday morning, a Cambridge investigator said. "The FBI's going to take over this probe." In the afternoon, the same official said. "We still have primary jurisdiction."