US bomb incidents slipped in '79

The federal government investigated 634 arson and 3,092 explosives incidents in 1979. But bombing and other explosives incidents actually dropped 5 percent, a report by the Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said.

The bureau said there were 1,469 known criminal bombings in 1979, a 16.8 percent drop from the 1,767 reported in 1978.

"The identified motives and targets for 1979 bombings remained consistent witht the information reported in 1978, " the report said. "Vandalism and revenge continued to be identified as primary motives, while residential and commercial properties continued to be primary targets."

Last year, 327 residences and 317 businesses were bomb targets. Cars, Trucks , and planes were hit 254 times, and school facilities 123 times. Insurance fraud was behind 56.2 percent of the 131 arson cases for which the bureau determined motives.

California led in the number of bombings last year -- 133 -- as it did in 1978. Illinois had 85; Ohio, 71; tennessee, 55; and New York, 54.

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