Incident Summary:

08/06/1974: Muharem Kurbegovic, also known as "Isak (Isaac) Rasim" or the "alphabet bomber," bombed the Pan American terminal of the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, in the United States, killing three people and injuring thirty-six others. The bomb exploded in one of the coin-operated public lockers near the ticketing area of the terminal, and caused considerable damage including shattering several huge plate glass windows and leaving a 10 by 15 foot hole in the wall. Kurbegovic apparently belonged to no organization and had no outside support; however, in a tape sent to the Herald-Examiner, he claimed he was the military officer of a group he called "Aliens of America." Kurbegovic became known as the "alphabet bomber" because he picked his targets in alphabetical order.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


Los Angeles

Location Details:
Los Angeles International Airport

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Airports and Aircraft
Name of Entity Airport
Specific Description Los Angeles International Airport
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 Unknown Explosive Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information The explosion occurred at 8:10am. This may be a purely criminal act because Kurbegovic's motivations stemmed from personal vendetta's against a judge and commissioners who would not allow him to open up his own business, though he did have some political motivations as well. Kurbegovic claimed this attack by sending an audiotape to a CBS affiliate explaining his alphabet bombing method. Kurbegovic also claimed responsibility for other attempted bombings, even though police doubt some of his claims. Kurbegovic was arrested and eventually convicted in 1980 of 25 counts of Murder, Arson, Illegal Use of Explosives and relate d charges, and sentenced to life in prison.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Anti-Government extremists Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Other)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 3 Fatalities / 36 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 3
Number of U.S. Fatalities 3
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 36
Number of U.S. Injured 36
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"T Is for Terror: A mad bomber who stalked Los Angeles in the ’70s could be the poster boy for the kind of terrorist the FBI fears today," Newsweek Web Exclusive,, June 9, 2003.
"Suspect Arrested in Coast Bombings," New York Times, August 21, 1974.
"Bomb Explosion Kills 2 at Airport in Los Angeles," New York Times, August 7, 1974.