Fri, Nov 26, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Police catch bombing suspect

PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE Only hours after the Taipei City Police Department released video footage of the man it believes is the rice bomber, a suspect was caught

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Video footage taken from a security camera on Zhongshan S Road which shows a suspect the police believe could be the rice bomber, whose campaign of terror has included at least eight bombings or attempted bombings so far. No one has yet been injured in the bomber's nefarious attacks.

PHOTO: TAIPEI CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

Taipei police last night nabbed a man who was believed to be the "rice bomber," but the police declined to confirm whether the suspect was indeed the criminal.

"Since the man is still under interrogation, we can't tell whether he is the rice bomber," a police source said.

According to the source, the man perfectly fits the physical characters shown in the photos released by the police on Wednesday.

The Taipei Police Department's Criminal Investigation Corps (CIC) on Wednesday released a picture of a suspect who could be the notorious "rice bomber," and announced an NT$500,000 reward to anyone who could provide information that leads to the bomber's arrest.

The picture of the suspect was captured from video footage from a security camera at the corner of Taipei City's Zhongshan S Road at 5:17pm on Nov. 11. The police believe that, when the video footage was taken, the suspect must have just finished planting the bomb, which exploded in front of the Ministry of Education the following day.

"We have reviewed all the video footage and talked to all the witnesses who might have seen the suspect before we decided the man in the picture could be him," said Hsu Hung-ping (許弘屏), a lieutenant with the CIC.

In the picture, the man appears to be in his early 20s and approximately 165cm to 170cm tall. Officers said that the suspect would change clothes after he committed a crime, before he left the scene.

"If you have any related information, please call 02-2381-7409, 02-2767-6676, 0910-222-432 or 0931-770-110 to reach the police," Hsu said.

Ever since the rice bomber's first case on Oct. 27 last year, there have been 13 rice-bomber-related cases in the city. The rice bomber has admitted to at least eight of them.

"He always alerts the media and the police every time he commits a crime," Hsu said.

The suspect earned the moniker "rice bomber" because he always leaves behind a letter and a small packet of rice along with the explosive device.

In one letter, the rice bomber claimed that he is a protester who wants to urge the government to stop importing rice and start protecting local rice farmers. The bomber has claimed that the bomb attack on a train from Keelung to Chunan on Feb. 2 was his work, as well as seven attacks in Taipei City since Oct. 27 last year.

The first "rice bomb" was found in Da-an Forest Park on Oct. 27 last year, and another bomb was found on Nov. 13 in one of the park's men's restrooms. On Nov. 22, another bomb was discovered in front of the Ministry of Finance's Financial Data Center.

On Dec. 2, a fourth bomb was discovered in the MRT's Guting Station, while on Dec. 10 and Dec. 23 two more bombs appeared in Taipei's Hsinsheng and Yucheng parks.

However, none of the "rice bombs" -- including the bombs that actually exploded -- have injured anyone.

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