Incident Summary:

02/21/1997: A bomb detonated at the Otherside Lounge, a gay and lesbian bar in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. This was the first of two related attacks at this location; the device was planted in a rear patio while there were about 150 people in the lounge. A second bomb intended to target first responders was found shortly after, and detonated unexpectedly while authorities were trying to disarm it with a robot. The first explosion injured at least five people and caused damage at the bar. In 2005, Eric Rudolph was convicted and sentenced to four life terms for carrying out this attack and others, including the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in July 1996 and a bombing at an abortion clinic in January 1997. A letter signed "Army of God," claimed responsibility for the attacks, noting anti-abortion and anti-LGBT motivations.

GTD ID:
199702210003

When:
1997-02-21

Country:
United States

Region:
North America

Province/administrative
region/u.s. state:

Georgia

City:
Atlanta

Location Details:
1924 Piedmont Road

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity The Otherside
Specific Description Gay and lesbian clientele
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 Dynamite/TNT
Weapon Details
The bomb consisted of 10-20 sticks of commercial grade dynamite, wire nails, and steel plates to direct the force of the explosion, wired to a "baby Big Ben" wind up clock and packed in a plastic food container in a green polyester backpack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
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 0 Fatalities / 5 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 5
Number of U.S. Injured 5
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Sources
Tara Meyer, "Blast rips through nightclub in Atlanta: At least 5 injured by nails in bomb," South Bend Tribune (Associated Press), February 23, 1997.
Harry R. Weber, "Rudolph given 4 life terms in Atlanta Bombings," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Associated Press), August 23, 2005.
Dallas Duncan, "Coming out on the other side: 20 years after Atlanta LGBT bar bombing, Otherside Lounge owners, patrons revisit dark day," The Georgia Voice, February 16, 2017.