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R. Kupperman; gave early warning on terrorism

WASHINGTON -- Robert Kupperman, 71, a government scientist who started warning of terrorist attacks against the United States more than 30 years ago, died of complications from Parkinson's disease Friday at his home here, his family said.

"Unless governments take basic precautions, we will continue to stand at the edge of an awful abyss," Mr. Kupperman, chief scientist for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, wrote in a 1977 report that summarized nearly five years of work by the Cabinet Committee to Combat Terrorism.

President Nixon created the high-level government panel in 1972 after Palestinian commandos slaughtered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. Its members included Henry Kissinger, George H.W. Bush, and Rudolph Giuliani.

"Terrorists are undergoing a dangerous metamorphosis from technological clods relying on fanaticism to skilled tacticians," Mr. Kupperman warned in a 1988 op-ed article in The New York Times, written with Jeff Kamen.

After leaving the government in 1979, Mr. Kupperman was associated with the private Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. He wrote in 1995 that the government had "essentially ignored the issue of domestic terrorism" for two decades.

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