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Tufts Bombing Remains Unsolved

By E. J. Dionne

A bomb threat heightened tension yesterday at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, which was shaken Sunday at about 4:30 a. m. by a firebombing.

Police have found no definite leads in connection with the firebombing, which destroyed two offices, damaged two others and caused an estimated $75,000 damage. No one was injured in the blast.

Yesterday's bomb threat came at 2 p. m. in the form of a telephone call to the Fletcher admissions office. Assistant dean Charles N. Shane, whose office was destroyed Sunday, is admissions director.

According to the secretary who answered the phone, the caller had "a deep, husky voice" and told her, "There's a bomb in the building and it'll go off in five minutes." The building, Mugar Hall, was evacuated immediately.

After a 45-minute search, Tufts University police told some 50 people who had evacuated the building that they could re-enter.

'The Arson Squad'

A group calling itself "The Arson Squad" claimed responsibility for the bombing in a note tacked Sunday to the door of the Tufts student radio station. The note said that the group took the action to "express solidarity with the people of Laos who are fighting American imperialism led by agents trained in a large part at Fletcher."

The nation's oldest school of international affairs, Fletcher has a long his-tory of ties with the foreign policy establishment. It does work for the State Department, the Agency for International Development, and the U. S. Information Agency. Forty of the school's 225 graduate students are currently civilian or military employees of the U. S. government.


Accounts of the bombing have thus far been fraught with conflicting information. Paul D. Price, Tufts public relations director, said yesterday that a student witness saw two people running away from the building immediately after the bombing.

Another student had reported Sunday that he had seen a youth in an army fatigue jacket and dungarees run into a Fletcher dormitory, sound an alarm and run out.

However, the Tufts undergraduate newspaper the Observer reported yesterday that the alarm had been rung by a student who feared the fire would spread to the dormitories.

Modern Methods

A new kind of Molotoy cocktail may have been used for the blast. Tufts security chief Herbert Voye said he believes the bomb had chemicals to explode on impact rather than by a lighted wick.

Medford Fire Chief Leo McCabe said yesterday that the fire is still under investigation. He said that the Medford fire department has been working since Sunday with Medford police, the state fire marshal and the state chemist.

In a regularly scheduled meeting, the Tufts faculty of arts and sciences yesterday approved a resolution condemning the bombing and voted not to consider a second resolution calling for Tufts to sever all ties with the Federal government.

SDS Speaks

Tufts SDS labeled the bombing "terrorist" and "absolutely indefensible." It pledged to continue working "to build a movement of workers, students and faculty against Fletcher programs."

As of last night, some 50 Fletcher students had signed a petition criticizing both the bombing and the Vietnam war as "mindless, self-assured violence."

Fletcher was founded in 1933 in cooperation with Harvard. Tufts is now the sole administrator, but its Joint Academic Council includes the President of Harvard, the dean of the Law School and the dean of the Kennedy School of Government.

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