Incident Summary:

9/7/1971: In a series of nine related incidents, Ronald Kaufman placed a time bomb in a security deposit box at a Bank of America branch in San Francisco, California, United States in July 1971. The bomb, set to explode nine months later, prematurely detonated on September 7, 1971. There were no casualties and the bank sustained minor damage. Ronald Kaufman hoped to use this incident to show the government that he should be considered a serious threat. He warned that he would plan bombings in the future to leverage the federal government into releasing political prisoners.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


San Francisco

Location Details:
Intersection of Market St. and New Montgomery St.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Bank of America
Specific Description Bank of America branch, San Francisco
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Time Fuse
Weapon Details
Clock connected to a battery recharger with a half-pound of smokeless black powder wrapped in a styrofoam set to detonate after 217 days
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information "This is part of a multiple attack with 197201070001, 197201070002, 197201070003, 197201070004, 197201070005, 197201070006, 197201070007, and 197201070008. This was the only incident in which the bomb detonated. Ronald Kaufman associated with the Students for a Democratic Society. Within the letters notifying the authorities of the explosive devices, he claimed to represent the ""Movement in Amerika"" and the missives ended ""Remember George Jackson and Sam Melville."" The letters were sent to the Chicago Daily News, Chicago Today, Chicago Sun-Times, The Seed, WMAQ-TV (Chicago), San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeley Tribe, and KSAN-TV (San Francisco). Kaufman was eventually captured in 1986."
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Left-Wing Militants Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Letter)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Jonathan Kandell, "Police in 3 Cities Defuse Bombs Placed in 8 Banks," New York Times, January 8, 1972."
"John Corry, "G.I. With a Ph.D. Planted 9 Bank Bombs, F.B.I. Says," New York Times, January 14, 1972."
"Lester A. Sobel, "Political Terrorism," Facts on File, Inc., 1975."