BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Eric Rudolph (search) stashed dynamite near a building that government agents used as a headquarters during the huge manhunt for the serial bomber, federal sources close to the case told The Associated Press on Monday.
Agents believe that while he was a fugitive, Rudolph left a large stash of dynamite near a National Guard armory that served as a temporary base for agents during the search for Rudolph near Murphy, N.C., a federal official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The exact proximity of the explosives to the armory is not known, but the official said the cache was close enough to the building to have caused damage had it exploded.
Another federal source said bomb components were found buried near the armory — located near woods about two miles outside of Murphy (search) — but officials weren't sure how long they had been in the ground. The device "wasn't operational," but contained all the pieces of a bomb, the source said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
Rudolph revealed several stashes containing about 250 pounds of dynamite in all as he agreed to plead guilty to fatal bombings at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and at a Birmingham (search) abortion clinic, the Justice Department announced last week. Rudolph also confessed to a pair of bombings in the Atlanta area in 1997.
The plea bargain allows Rudolph to escape the death penalty.
The new details about the location of the explosives emerged as federal court officials in Alabama and Georgia arranged space and closed-circuit televisions for the dozens of victims expected to show up when Rudolph pleads guilty Wednesday.
Whether the public will learn exactly why the anti-government extremist pulled off the attacks that killed two people and injured more than 120 is unclear.
"To an extent, the Olympics may have reflected a view, albeit a paranoid one, that we were moving to a world government or a new world order," said Kent Alexander, who was U.S. attorney when the Atlanta Games were bombed in 1996. "The only one who knows is Eric Rudolph, and maybe we'll hear from him on Wednesday."
Calls to two of Rudolph's lawyers were not immediately returned Monday.
The government said dynamite was found in three areas relatively near populated areas, including one spot where Rudolph had buried a fully constructed bomb that had the detonator detached. All the dynamite was destroyed in a series of controlled explosions last week, officials said.