Rudolph en route to Birmingham

Eric Rudolph is now on his way to Alabama. A small jet took off this afternoon from the Asheville Regional Airport. The plane was surrounded by heavily armed local and federal officers, approximately 15 in all.

Rudolph appeared before a federal judge this morning for the first time since his capture, acknowledging his identity but not entering a plea.

Attorney General John Ashcroft says Rudolph will face trial first in Birmingham, Alabama, where an abortion clinic was bombed in 1998. Rudolph will then face trial in Atlanta, site of the 1996 Olympic bombing and other blasts linked to him.

Rudolph wore a blue bulletproof vest over an orange prison jumpsuit, and spoke briefly at the 30-minute hearing before a United States District Judge.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)