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FBI Renews Call for Tips on 1985 Santa Ana Blast

The bombing killed the western regional director of an Arab anti- discrimination group.

October 12, 2005|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

Twenty years after Alex Odeh was killed when a bomb exploded in his Santa Ana office, the FBI is again asking for help by reminding the public of a $1-million reward for information that helps solve the crime.

Odeh, the western regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, was killed Oct. 11, 1985, when a bomb exploded as he opened the door to the group's Santa Ana office.

His murder, considered one of the first acts of terrorism in the United States, remains unsolved. Others were injured in the blast, but Odeh was the only fatality.

The reward, first offered nine years ago, was announced again Tuesday by J. Stephen Tidwell, assistant director in charge of the FBI's office in Los Angeles.

"We're asking anyone with information to step forward," said Vickie Hampton-Franklin, a department spokeswoman.

Early in the investigation there was speculation that Jewish militants were responsible, but Hampton-Franklin declined to comment on suspects or discuss details.

Though the FBI has kept the case open for 20 years, Sami Odeh of Orange has expressed frustration over the lack of progress in bringing his brother's killer or killers to justice.

"I hope that the reward will trigger somebody's conscience, or greed," Odeh said said Tuesday.

"But this reward has been in effect since 1996. I still hope that justice will prevail."

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