American Samizdat

Wednesday, May 18, 2005. *
"The FBI said on Wednesday a grenade thrown at President George W. Bush during a visit to Georgia last week had been a threat to the American leader and had only failed to explode because of a malfunction.

"In a statement, a Federal Bureau of Investigation official at the U.S. embassy said the grenade, thrown while Bush made a keynote speech in Tbilisi's Freedom Square on May 10, had been live and landed within 30 metres (100 feet) of the president.

"'This hand grenade appears to be a live device that simply failed to function due to a light strike on the blasting cap induced by a slow deployment of the spoon activation device,' said the statement from C. Bryan Paarmann, the FBI's legal attache at the embassy.

"The FBI's statement contradicted an account by Georgian police at the time who said the grenade was a dud, left at the spot to sow panic among the tens of thousands who turned out to greet Bush.

"A White House spokesman also said then that Bush, who had visited the ex-Soviet republic to show support for its pro-Western government, had never been in danger.

"There was no explanation for the discrepancy between the different versions."
posted by mr damon at 1:05 PM
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