Incident Summary:

01/29/1998: In Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A., an off-duty officer, Robert Sanderson, was killed by a bomb just after he arrived for work as a security guard at the Birmingham Abortion Clinic. He became the nation's first fatality in an abortion clinic bombing. A nurse was also severely injured. In 2005 Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to this and three earlier bombing attacks in Atlanta and was sentenced to life in prison. The Army of God group claimed responsibility for the bombings in a letter to news agencies.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Abortion Related
Name of Entity Birmingham Abortion Clinic
Specific Description Birmingham Abortion Clinic
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 Time Fuse
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
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 / 1 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 1
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
“Clinic Bombing; Deadly Violence Cannot Be A Response to Abortion,” The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), January 31, 1998.
“Alabama Atrocity,” The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), January 31, 1998.
“Clinic Bomb an Act of Terrorism,” Philadelphia Daily News, January 31, 1998.