Incident Summary:

07/27/1996: At 1:25 Saturday morning, a pipe bomb detonated in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. At the time of the explosion there was a crowd of approximately 60,000 people in the park attending a concert and festivities in celebration of the 1996 Olympic Games. One person was killed as a direct result of the explosion and 111 were injured, including six state troopers and one Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent. A cameraman suffered a heart attack and died while running toward the scene. A call to 911 from a nearby phone booth warned "There is bomb in Centennial Park. You have 30 minutes." However, there were delays in communicating this message to authorities in the park, where the bomb was found about five minutes before it exploded. Analysts suspect that the call was intended to lure law enforcement officials to the park to injure them. Authorities initially and erroneously suspected that the person who found the bomb under a bench in the park and warned authorities about it was responsible for planting the device. In 2005, Eric Rudolph was convicted and sentenced to four life terms for carrying out this attack and others, including the bombing of an abortion clinic in January 1997 and the bombing of a gay and lesbian bar in February 1997.

GTD ID:
199607270003

When:
1996-07-27

Country:
United States

Region:
North America

Province/administrative
region/u.s. state:

Georgia

City:
Atlanta

Location Details:
Near the base of a media tower.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Centennial Olympic Park
Specific Description Concertgoers
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 Pipe Bomb
Weapon Details
The bomb consisted of three 12 x 2 metal pipes containing number nine or number seven-grade smokeless powder, wired to a "Westclox Big Ben" wind up clock and packed in a green miltary backpack with an improvised handle made from a wooden rod.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Army of God Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Letter)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 75 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 1
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 75
Number of U.S. Injured 110
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Sources
Neil A. Campbell and Jan Wong, "Games on edge after bombing. Police say they have promising leads in Olympic Centennial Park blast," The Globe and Mail (Canada), July 29, 1996.
Matthew Vita, "A look at the four bombings," The Washington Post, June 1, 2003.
Harry R. Weber, "Rudolph given 4 life terms in Atlanta Bombings," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Associated Press), August 23, 2005.