Man probed for Unabomber crimes

| Tue, 10/03/2006 - 05:27

Italian police hunting for a serial bomber dubbed the Italian 'Unabomber' have focused their investigations on a 49-year-old engineer from the northeastern Friuli region .

It emerged on Monday that Elvo Zornitta, who lives in the village of Azzano Decimo near Pordenone, has been under investigation in connection with 20 of the Unabomber's strikes since 2004 .

A judge has now approved a series of tests to be carried out on a pair of scissors found in Zornitta's house. Police say marks on the scissors are compatible with traces left inside an explosive device attributed to the elusive bomber .

The experts chosen to carry out the tests will be officially appointed on October 10. They include a top FBI detective .

"I'm innocent and I'll clear up everything, starting on October 10," Zornitta said on hearing the latest developments in the investigation .

The Unabomber is believed to be responsible for some 30 incidents involving booby-trapped objects in northeast Italy since 1994 .

He has planted explosives in beach umbrellas, cigarette lighters, eggs and tubes of tomato concentrate and mayonnaise. Some of his devices - such as Easter eggs, felt-tipped pens and jars of chocolate spread - have clearly been aimed at harming children .

In April 2003, he was blamed for a booby-trapped pen which exploded in the hands of a nine-year-old girl who was out on a picnic with her family. The girl lost three fingers on her right hand and was blinded in her right eye .

A special pool of investigators was subsequently created to track down the serial bomber .

He was dubbed the 'Unabomber' after America's notorious Theodore Kaczynski who was jailed for life in 1998 after a 17-year mail-bomb campaign which killed three people and injured 29 .