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Congress Investigates Oklahoma City Bomber's Links to Muslim Extremists

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A new Congressional report outlines additional -- but still circumstantial -- links between Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef.

Titled "The Oklahoma City Bombing: Was There A Foreign Connection?," the report was conducted by the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee, at the request of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. (Click here for full text of the report.)

The report was provided to INTELWIRE by attorney Jesse Trentadue, who has been pursuing new information on the case through Freedom of Information Act requests and other means (link). Trentadue said he seriously questioned the report's focus on possible connections to Islamic extremists, but said it clearly illustrates the Justice Department's unwillingness to cooperate with investigations of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The report contains a number of new tidbits of information, many of which are suggestive of a broader conspiracy in the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred E. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, but none of which are entirely conclusive.

According to the report, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating told investigators that President Bill Clinton's first comment to him after the bombing was, "God, I hope there's no Middle Eastern connection to this."

The report focused on three main issues:

  • Whether Terry Nichols met Ramzi Yousef during the period both men were in Cebu City, the Philippines.
  • Whether Nichols and McVeigh were connected to a German national named Andreas Strassmeir who was linked to domestic white supremacist organizations.
  • Whether the FBI made an adequate investigation of eyewitness reports linking McVeigh to other individuals around the time of the bombing. Some of those reports generated a composite sketch of a suspect known as "John Doe #2."

In large part, the report reiterates the findings of previous investigations and media reports (see INTELWIRE reports Al Qaeda and OKC and Did Yousef and Nichols Meet?).

The report did find significant new clues that suggest a link between Terry Nichols and Ramzi Yousef, including material gleaned from a review of Yousef's phone records. But it stopped short of saying a connection can be proven.

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J.M. Berger is a journalist covering terrorism and extremism. He has produced content for the National Geographic Channel, National Public Radio and more. His first book, "Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Islam," can be pre-ordered through (more...)
 
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