Inside Today’s FBI: Unabomber Arrest

For 17 years, an elusive criminal sent homemade bombs targeting universities, airlines and computer stores, killing three people and injuring 23 others. The FBI branded him “Unabomber” — shorthand for his early targets: universities and airlines. The Unabomber eluded the FBI for 17 years, despite an investigation spanning eight states and involving 500 agents.

The turning point came in 1995 when the suspect mailed a 35,000-word anti-technology treatise to The New York Times and The Washington Post, vowing he would “desist from terrorism” if it was published. The FBI urged newspapers to comply, hoping that someone would recognize the author from his writing. After much debate, the Post printed it and the Times shared the costs.

After the bomber’s brother read the manifesto, his tip to the FBI made Theodore Kaczynski the prime suspect, leading FBI agents to a cabin in the Montana wilderness. Kaczynski was arrested there April 3, 1996, finally bringing an end to the Unabomber’s reign of terror. He is serving eight life sentences in federal prison without the possibility of parole.

“Inside Today’s FBI” tells the story of the FBI’s hunt for the Unabomber and features artifacts related to the case, including the 10-by-12 foot hand-built cabin where Kaczynski lived for 20 years.

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