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Monday, 14 September 1998 00:00

OKC’s Mideast Connection

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The scenes of death and carnage emanating from the two bomb-ravaged U.S. embassies in Africa were wearily familiar. In the news coverage and analysis of the simultaneous August 7 terrorist attacks on the embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, there were the inevitable comparisons to past lethal attacks: the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon (1983 & 1984); the Israeli Embassy and Jewish cultural center in Argentina (1992 & 1994); the World Trade Center in New York (1993); the U.S. Embassy and Air Force barracks in Saudi Arabia (1995 & 1996). And, of course, to the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

However, we were repeatedly reminded, the Oklahoma bombing was "a domestic terrorist act," carried out by a couple of anti-government ex-Army misfits, while the others had been the work of Middle Eastern terrorist organizations. This is the conventional wisdom concerning Oklahoma City that seems to have gained almost universal acceptance. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the conventional wisdom is dead wrong. Readers of The New American are by now familiar with the overwhelming evidence we have published over the past three and one-half years establishing beyond doubt that demolition charges were planted on the columns inside the Murrah Building, in addition to the Ryder truck bomb outside the building. (See our article "Proof of Bombs and Cover-up" in our July 20, 1998 issue.) This compelling evidence alone renders absurd the Timothy McVeigh "lone bomber" scenario posited by the federal government. But those who have seen this magazine’s extensive investigation into the bombing are also aware of the superabundance of evidence — in the form of government documents, government informants, and numerous eyewitnesses — concerning other vehicles and individuals associated with McVeigh in Kansas in the days prior to the bombing, and in Oklahoma City minutes before the blast.

Much of our investigation has focused on the evidence which strongly implicates in the bomb plot members of the White Aryan Resistance and other neo-Nazi groups operating out of a "Christian Identity" compound known as Elohim City, in eastern Oklahoma. (See "Undercover: The Howe Revelations" in our September 15, 1997 issue.) However, over the past two years The New American has carried out a parallel investigation into equally compelling evidence which indicates that McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and their Elohim co-conspirators were subcontractors, and perhaps planned fall guys, for Middle Eastern terrorist organizations with operational cells throughout the United States. — including in Oklahoma City. Incredibly, many of these organizational structures are still intact and operating hand-in-hand with supposedly legitimate Muslim organizations. Even more incredible, many of these "legitimate" organizations continue to support violent and virulently anti-American terrorist groups and terror regimes throughout the world — while federal authorities charged with protecting this country continue to look the other way.

This cannot be allowed to continue or the evil acts like those recently carried out in Kenya and Tanzania will again be brought home to the streets of America — with even more devastating impact and more catastrophic loss of life. Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Libya are all aggressively developing chemical and biological weapons, with generous assistance from Russia and China. With the aid of Moscow and Beijing, they are also rapidly developing the missile systems that may soon be capable of delivering these weapons of mass destruction to American soil.

But these regimes already have in place within the United States terrorist apparatus capable of delivering these unimaginably lethal weapons by more pedestrian means, with the potential for causing tens of thousands — or even hundreds of thousands — of American deaths. Thus, these avowed enemies — who regard America as "the great Satan" — have the opportunity and the means to inflict incalculable damage on this country. And with the protracted U.S. involvement in Bosnia, our ongoing conflict with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and the continued U.S. intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio, we are guaranteeing a burning motive to every radical Islamic regime or terrorist group: revenge.

Motive, opportunity, and means. Is America suicidally bent on providing all of these to our deadly foes? Apparently so, if we continue our misguided foreign policies and blindly ignore the staggering evidence concerning the Oklahoma City bombing.

Consider these facts:

<>• An FBI All Points Bulletin was issued shortly after the blast for all law enforcement to be on the lookout for a late model Chevrolet pickup "occupied by Middle Eastern subjects" seen fleeing the blast area "at a high rate of speed."

• At least four witnesses have attested to seeing young men of apparent Middle Eastern appearance in front of, or in the immediate vicinity of, the Murrah Building before and right after the explosion acting in a suspicious manner.

• A confidential informant for the federal government, who was on record prior to the bombing warning of a conspiracy — of which he was a member — involving Middle Eastern and domestic terrorists to blow up federal buildings, has provided important, detailed information about the OKC attack.

• On April 19, 1995, the head of Saudi Arabia’s Intelligence Service called the CIA’s former chief of Counterterrorism Operations to report that Saddam Hussein had hired seven Pakistani terrorists (Ramzi Yousef, convicted in the World Trade Center bombing, is Pakistani) to bomb targets in the U.S., one of which was the Murrah Building.

• Prior to the Oklahoma bombing, there was no record of any domestic terrorists detonating an explosive of the size ascribed to the Ryder truck bomb, but many foreign and domestic experts on terrorism have noted the Mideast "signature" of the truck bomb.

• There is a superabundance of evidence of neo-Nazi operatives in Europe and the U.S. collaborating with Arab and other Middle Eastern terrorists, or acting under the direction of the Soviet KGB and its surrogate services in Eastern Europe.

• Before being cowed into silence, elected officials and terrorist experts had pointed out that militant leaders of the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad had addressed a radical Islamic conference in Oklahoma City, and that the militants’ statements had been recorded in a PBS documentary.

Early in the Oklahoma bombing investigation, The New American obtained a copy of the sworn affidavit of FBI Special Agent Henry C. Gibbons (dated April 20, 1995) relaying the testimony of an eyewitness near the scene of the explosion who "saw two individuals running from the area of the Federal Building toward a brown Chevrolet truck prior to the explosion." "The individuals," says the FBI affidavit, "were described as males, of possible Middle Eastern descent, approximately 6 feet tall, with athletic builds. One of the persons was further described as approximately 25-26 years old, having dark hair and a beard. The second person was described as approximately 35-38 years old, with dark hair and a dark beard with gray in it. The second person was further described as wearing blue jogging pants, a black shirt and a black jogging jacket. A third person, not further identified, was believed to be in the brown Chevrolet truck."

The eyewitness testimony used for Agent Gibbons’ affidavit, together with testimony on April 19 from other eyewitnesses, provided the basis for the FBI’s All Points Bulletin which was picked up and played by local radio and television stations. That APB stated:

Be on the lookout for a late model, almost new, Chevrolet, full-size pickup. It will be brown in color with tinted windows, smoke-colored bug deflector on the front of pickup ... middle eastern male, 25 to 28 years of age, six feet tall, athletic build, dark hair and a beard ... driver of the vehicle was not identified. Subjects were last seen heading north on Walker at a high rate of speed.... Authorization FBI.

A follow-up APB printout that this writer obtained from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol was issued at 2:28 p.m. on April 19. It stated:

Attempt to locate possible suspects and vehicle involved in bombing Oklahoma City 04/19/95 0900 hrs.... Use extreme caution ... Stop and check all vehicles matching the following description: Blue small to medium size GM product possible Chevrolet Cavalier or Blazer. Vehicle may be a rental car from National Car Rental Systems DFW [Dallas-Fort Worth] Texas. Possible tag of PTF54F Texas. Suspect information: Occupied by Middle Eastern male subject or subjects.

But without explanation (then, or to this day), the FBI pulled the Mideast APB on the afternoon of April 19. The Dallas Morning News reported on April 21 that federal agents had searched a Dallas apartment just before midnight on the 19th, seized several duffel bags, and had taken several boxes from the building. It reported further that three men of Middle Eastern descent were questioned in Dallas and Oklahoma City in connection with the apartment search. The men, it said, were riding in a Chevy Blazer or Suburban, but the license plate of their vehicle was traced instead to a Chevrolet Cavalier that had been rented at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport by one of the men, a resident of New York City who was from Lahore, Pakistan.

Nothing more was ever reported concerning the men, the search, or the vehicles. But on the following day, April 20, Special Agent Gibbons’ affidavit on the Middle East suspects was sworn before U.S. Judge Ronald L. Howland seeking a warrant to detain one Abraham Ahmad, who had left Oklahoma City for Amman, Jordan, less than two hours after the bombing. "At approximately 10:43 a.m. on April 19, 1995, an American Airlines flight left Oklahoma City en route to Chicago, Illinois," says the Gibbons affidavit. "Aboard that flight was Abraham Abdallah Ahmed [sic]. Ahmed was scheduled to fly from Chicago to Rome, Italy and finally to Jordan." However, American Airlines personnel in Oklahoma City thought that Ahmad was "acting nervous" and called the airline’s national security office. Ahmad was interviewed by the FBI in Chicago, while his luggage continued on a connecting flight to Rome, where it was searched by Italian officials. They discovered, said the FBI affidavit, "a) multiple car radios; b) a substantial quantity of shielded and unshielded wire; c) a small tool kit and other tools, consistent with use for both explosive devices and normal electronic repair or installation; d) blue jogging pants." Agent Gibbons’ affidavit, remember, described the suspects as wearing blue jogging pants.

But before the Italian search had been conducted, Ahmad had concluded his FBI interview in Chicago and had booked a new flight to London. British authorities determined that Ahmad was ineligible for transit through England and returned him to the United States. Upon his return and subsequent questioning by the FBI, Ahmad claimed to have been terribly traumatized by the entire ordeal and, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government seeking $1.9 million in damages. The New York Times, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Muslim Council, and other Islamic organizations and media voices joined in condemning Ahmad’s "treatment" and the tendency immediately after the explosion to suspect that the perpetrators had been somehow connected to Islam or the Middle East.

In The New American’s first article on the bombing ("Every American’s Tragedy," May 15, 1995), this writer had castigated the many media "experts," news commentators, and public officials who had prematurely declared the bombing to be an "Arab," "Islamic fundamentalist," or "Middle East terrorist" attack. However, the abrupt reversal by all of these same forces within 48 hours after the bombing, and their refusal ever since to even consider the steadily mounting evidence of a "Middle East" connection, is astounding.

To begin with, there was more than ample reason to suspect (not to proclaim or assert as fact, but to strongly suspect) a Mideast angle to the bombing. With Saddam Hussein having repeatedly sworn vengeance, and with the additional incentives provided by the recently concluded World Trade Center bombing trial and the extradition of Ramzi Yousef from Pakistan (to name a few), there was plenty of "cause" for retaliation from interested parties in those quarters.

There was good cause for suspecting Ahmad. His departure from Oklahoma immediately after the bombing and his destination fit a pattern that had been used in many previous bombings. In the World Trade Center bombing, for example, the putative mastermind, Ramzi Yousef, flew out of New York City on February 26, 1993 — a couple hours after the explosion. One of his co-conspirators, Abdul Rahman Yasin, escaped back to Iraq. Eyad Ismoil, a Palestinian who drove the truck bomb to the trade center, flew from Kennedy to Amman, Jordan, while Yousef was winging his way to Pakistan. Other members of their bombing conspiracy — both legal and illegal residents — stayed behind in the United States.

In addition to the eyewitness cited by Agent Gibbons’ affidavit, there were others who apparently saw the same "Middle East" individuals. One of those is Daina Bradley, a survivor of the blast. At 8:55 a.m., seven minutes before the detonation, she was on the ground floor of the Murrah Building with her mother, two children, and sister, waiting for the Social Security office to open. In an interview with Oklahoma City’s NBC-TV affiliate, KFOR, she said she saw, through the window, a man who resembled the famous John Doe No. 2 sketch get out of the Ryder truck and walk just 10 to 12 feet from her, headed hurriedly toward the northeast side of the Murrah Building, where two more witnesses say a brown pickup was parked — a pickup which matches the description of the FBI-police APB issued after the explosion. Bradley described the man as "olive complected" with "black curly hair." "He was wearing the baseball cap but his curls were sticking out of his head," she said. "It was short in the back but you could still see the curls in his hair. He was foreign. You can tell by his skin, his face, the way his face was."

Many people, unfortunately, dismiss as unreliable the testimony Bradley gave in the 1995 television interview, because of her disjointed testimony during the McVeigh trial in 1997. But considering her physical and mental state at the time of the trial, her courtroom performance should not be judged too harshly. She was, after all, still suffering continued physical pain (from her many injuries, including an amputated leg) and continued emotional trauma from the explosion’s effects, not the least of which included the deaths of her mother and two children. In addition, she was heavily medicated and was being subjected to the incredible courtroom pressures of this high-profile case, and who knows what pressures behind the scenes from federal prosecutors who had already made it clear that they didn’t want John Doe No. 2 or any other suspects, especially Middle Easterners, messing up their neatly wrapped "lone bomber" case.

But there are additional witnesses. Not more than a minute after the explosion, another witness was nearly run over by a brown pickup truck speeding away from the vicinity of the Murrah Building. The witness, who gives every indication of being reliable, told The New American (and the FBI) that she was just six feet away from the truck when she and the driver made eye contact: "The driver — I made eye contact with him; he looked like he was in his late 20s, [he] had an angry look on his face. I’ll never forget the look on his face. It was full of hate and anger."

In a shadow interview with reporter Jayna Davis of KFOR, and in a separate interview with this reporter, the witness positively identified the driver of the brown pickup as the same Iraqi whom the television station had been surveilling as a "possible John Doe No. 2 suspect." Acting on tips from witnesses, the station had surreptitiously videotaped the individual and had run several news stories with his face digitally blurred to protect his identity.

On August 24, 1995, Oklahoma City resident Al-Hussaini Hussain filed a defamation lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court against KFOR-TV and Jayna Davis, charging that the news station had falsely accused him of being John Doe No. 2. However, in its broadcasts the station had emphasized that the unnamed individual (whose identity and address they protected) was only a "possible" John Doe No. 2 suspect. The station had interviewed witnesses who said they had seen KFOR’s suspect (Al-Hussaini Hussain) with Timothy McVeigh or in connection with the brown "getaway" pickup. Following the example of Abraham Ahmad (who, it turns out, is a friend of Hussain), Hussain held a press conference at which he postured as the aggrieved victim of racist attacks. However, after filing his suit — which has chilled any further coverage of his story — and scoring some sympathetic media victories, Hussain took off to Texas. Facing a likely dismissal of his suit by the court because of his excessive delays, Hussain dropped the suit on April 17, 1997. However, two days after Davis testified before the Oklahoma County grand jury, attorneys for Hussain refiled his libel suit against Davis and KFOR.

This time around the resolution of Hussain’s case is again experiencing multiple delays. He has not returned to Oklahoma for depositions, claiming disabilities due to psychological trauma related to the case. But Judge Timothy Leonard has apparently had enough of his dilatory tactics and has ordered him to appear for deposition. One possible reason for Hussain’s reluctance to return is an outstanding arrest warrant for a 1995 D.U.I. charge. That citation had blown one of his alibis. A witness interviewed by KFOR claimed to have served beer to Hussain and McVeigh, who, she alleged, had come to the bar together. Nonsense, retorted Hussain, who claimed never to have been in the bar. Besides, he pointed out, as a devout Muslim he does not consume alcoholic beverages. But the crime report by the Oklahoma City Police Department claims that the supposedly abstemious Muslim was found passed out over the wheel of his car — which was still running — with an open container of malt liquor in the vehicle. A test administered by Officer R. Pierce "resulted in a .21 blood alcohol concentration." Very drunk. Even worse for Hussain, the place he chose to pass out was just 500 feet from a bar where witnesses claim to have seen McVeigh drinking.

Another problem for Hussain was his alibi for April 19. He had originally stated that he was working on renovation of a property at the time of the explosion, and he produced a time card to verify his claim. But co-workers interviewed by KFOR refuted that claim, and, according to the company secretary, the time card was bogus. In an interview with the Oklahoma Gazette, Al-Hussaini Hussain admitted to having been a member of Saddam Hussein’s elite Republican Guard before emigrating to the United States in 1992. The New American was unsuccessful in contacting Hussain through his attorney, former employer, former roommate, and friends. Throughout most of his residency in Oklahoma City, Hussain had worked for and rented an apartment from Dr. Samir Khalil, who owns a considerable amount of real estate in the Oklahoma City area. According to court records, Dr. Khalil, a convicted felon, had been investigated years ago as a possible operative for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Khalil insisted that he knew very little about Hussain’s background, but introduced this writer to Hussain’s former roommate, Ali Al-Siidi. Al-Siidi confirmed that he had served in the Iraqi army with Al-Hussaini Hussain during Desert Storm. He said he frequently sees Hussain, who works as a busboy at a restaurant in Dallas.

All of the above raise some very serious questions. Near the top of the list are questions concerning how Hussain and his fellow former Iraqi soldiers got into the country and what kind of security investigations, if any, were conducted. During 1993 and 1994, President Clinton brought several thousand "former" Iraqi soldiers to America for "resettlement." Under angry prodding from the American Legion and the VFW, Congress expressed feeble "outrage" and called on the president to halt the program. The administration never provided Congress with the information it had requested on the "resettlement." It may be, of course, that Hussain and his comrades are perfectly innocent immigrants seeking asylum from Saddam Hussein’s evil clutches, as they claim. But it should be remembered that when "master bomber" Ramzi Yousef entered the United States on an Iraqi passport in 1992 he also claimed to be seeking asylum and claimed to be a member of a Kuwaiti resistance group fighting Saddam Hussein. And he was not the first. Many intelligence reports had cited the aggressive effort by Saddam to infiltrate his agents into the United States during and after the Gulf War. In fact, the Washington Post reported on January 28, 1991 that, according to "highly classified U.S. intelligence reports," Saddam Hussein had "dispatched more than 100 terrorists, both experienced and novice, to try to infiltrate the United States." What would be the political fallout if it were discovered that Clinton’s Iraqi "defectors" had a hand in the OKC bombing?

But there are additional, more important reasons for bringing Yousef into the picture other than as an evil exemplar. According to a couple of his notorious terrorist comrades, Yousef’s group was directly responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing. So says Abdul Hakim Murad, who, along with Ramzi Yousef and Wali Khan, was convicted on September 8, 1996 in New York City for conspiring to blow up 12 U.S. airliners. If that plot had been carried out successfully, as many as 4,000 passengers — or more — might have been killed. On April 19, 1995, Murad was in his New York jail cell when he received news of the bombing in Oklahoma. According to his prison guard, as reflected in an FBI report, Murad stated that the Liberation Army, of which he was a member, was responsible for the bombing.

Edwin Angeles, the military strategist for the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, was arrested in 1996 and is now in the custody of Philippine authorities. Interviewed in his Philippine prison by McVeigh defense team members, Angeles said that Murad was referring to the Palestine Liberation Army and/or the Islamic Jihad. Angeles also stated that the Oklahoma City bomb plot had been hatched at a meeting he had attended in Davao, Philippines. With him at that meeting, he said, were Yousef, Murad, Khan, and an American who "introduced himself as a farmer." That "farmer," he says, was Terry Nichols.

Nichols, remember, married a Filipino "mail order" bride, then renounced his U.S. citizenship and moved to the Philippines. Even after moving back to the United States, he made a number of trips to the Philippines that have raised many troubling and unanswered questions. According to sources who have seen the FBI’s reports on its OKC-Philippines investigation, Nichols’ landlord in the Philippines reported that Nichols did have a book on bomb making. And Nichols was in the Philippines during the same time periods that Ramzi Yousef and his terrorist network were operating there.

There may be other ties binding Oklahoma City to the Trade Center bombing. A very strong connection is provided by a memo from the U.S. Marshals Service shortly before the Oklahoma attack. On March 22, a little more than three weeks before the Oklahoma bombing, the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger reported that "U.S. law enforcement authorities have obtained information that Islamic terrorists may be planning suicide attacks against federal courthouses and government installations in the United States. The attacks, it is feared, would be designed to attract worldwide press attention through the murder of innocent victims."

The story, by Star-Ledger correspondent Robert Rudolph, continued:

The Star-Ledger has learned that U.S. law enforcement officials have received a warning that a "fatwa," a religious ruling similar to the death sentence targeting author Salman Rushdie, has been issued against federal authorities as a result of an incident during the trial last year of four persons in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.

The disclosure was made in the confidential memorandum issued by the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington calling for stepped-up security at federal facilities throughout the nation.

The incident that allegedly triggered the fatwa occurred after the bombing defendants Mahmud Abouhalima, Nidal Ayyad, Mohammad Salameh, and Ahmad Ajaj had been declared guilty. The defendants and their supporters erupted in fury, cursing the jury, the court, and the United States, and then began chanting "Allah Akhbar" (God is great). New York Newsday reporters Dyer, Kocieniewski, Murphy, and Tyre report in their book, Two Seconds Under the World, what happened next:

The marshals interrupted the chanting by handcuffing the prisoners and dragging them out of the courtroom. In the holding cells, where they could not be seen, the marshals trampled a copy of the Koran that had fallen on the floor in the tussle. "Where is your God now?" they asked the bombers, who cursed them in Arabic.

An even more pointed and compelling warning had been delivered to the U.S. Justice Department offices in Denver less that two weeks before the Oklahoma bombing. U.S. Attorney Henry Solano confirmed that his Denver office granted immunity in September 1994 to an informant who claimed to have information about a plot by apparent Middle Eastern terrorists and U.S. citizens to bomb a number of federal buildings.

This same informant, Cary James Gagan, delivered a letter to the Justice Department on April 6, 1995 reporting that he had "specific information that within two weeks" a federal building was to be bombed.

After the April 19 bombing, spokesmen for the Justice Department stated that they had not — and still do not — deem the informant to be credible. But just a few months before they had deemed him credible enough to grant him immunity. That is not a prize which federal prosecutors dispense frivolously to every "informant" who walks through the door. Try as they might, however, Gagan’s detractors cannot explain away his April 6 letter, which proved to be terribly prescient. Investigative reporters for The New American have spent many hours interviewing Gagan and checking his stories, sources, and documentation. We have interviewed the taxi driver who took Cary Gagan to the Denver Federal Building on April 6, 1995 and hand delivered the warning letter to the Marshals Service for Gagan. And we obtained from the cabbie a signed, sworn affidavit to that effect. Gagan has evidence to corroborate much of his story concerning the bombing conspiracy. Much of that evidence is beyond the power and resources of our news organization to verify. We have visited Washington, D.C., on several occasions and provided this evidence and information to members of Congress, congressional committees, the FBI, the Secret Service, and other authorities, and have made much of it available to the grand jury in Oklahoma City.

There was much premature finger pointing and assigning of blame in the aftermath of the bombing, but even more irresponsible has been the craven backtracking and silence on the part of many knowledgeable authorities since the Clinton-Reno Justice Department laid down the official line that the Oklahoma bombing was a purely domestic terrorist act.

Oliver Revell, former FBI assistant director in charge of investigation and counterterrorism, was quoted in news accounts as saying, "I think it’s most likely a Middle East terrorist. I think the modus operandi is similar. They have used this approach." According to court documents filed in the McVeigh trial, an FBI communiqué on the day of the bombing suggested the attack may have been in retaliation for the prosecution of the World Trade Center bombers, and said, "We are currently inclined to suspect the Islamic Jihad as the likely group."

William Northrup, who holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship and has longstanding ties to Israeli intelligence, says he is more than "inclined to suspect" Islamic Jihad. His investigation, he told this reporter, directly ties suspects from the Oklahoma City bombing to an Islamic Jihad cell in Tampa, Florida. The Florida cell, he believes, is tied into the network of Osama bin Laden, who was the target of the U.S. attacks on August 20 in Sudan and Afghanistan. Bin Laden is also a backer of the Ramzi Yousef group in the Philippines.

Northrup, who was indicted along with Israeli General Avraham Bar-Am and nine others in the Iran-Contra investigation (charges were dropped against all 11), is, like most intelligence operatives, reluctant to discuss official "business." However, he has stated that it is "his understanding" that U.S. officials received specific prior warning of the bomb plot, i.e. naming Oklahoma City and the approximate date, from three foreign intelligence services: Israeli, West German, and Saudi Arabian. And although he does not say that he was directly involved in passing on that warning, he does state that he was "sent" to Oklahoma City several days before the bombing. This, of course, coincides with much of the information that our investigation has uncovered. It also agrees with a report that appeared in the Tel Aviv newspaper Yediot Arhonot on April 20, 1995, that stated: "Yesterday, it was made known that over the last few days, US law enforcement agencies had received intelligence information originating in the Middle East warning of a large Islamic terrorist attack on US soil. No alert was sounded as a result of this information."

Terrorist expert Neil C. Livingstone was quoted in The Globe on May 16, 1995 with this observation: "There is a remarkable similarity between the methods used by Islamic terrorists in the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, the attack on the World Trade Center, and the bombing in Oklahoma. The truckload of explosives is almost a signature or calling card and it is the weapon of choice among these groups." Livingstone, the author of several books on terrorism, continued: "Very typically, these terrorists have found homegrown radicals to use as dupes in the actual bombings. They have supplied the money and the technical expertise and highly skilled operatives to guide a project and then get out of town before they can be apprehended. This is exactly what happened in the World Trade Center assault, and now they are furious that we have apprehended one of their team leaders [Yousef] and brought him back here for trial."

Similarly, in April 1995 Vincent Cannistrero, former chief of counterterrorism for the CIA, authored an article for the Boston Globe, in which he noted the similarities between the New York and Oklahoma bombings.

In addition to Cannistrero’s stature as one of the world’s foremost counterterrorist experts, he had specific information to lend authority to his evaluation. He had received a call on the day of the bombing from one of the highest placed sources in the Middle East, the head of Saudi Arabia’s Intelligence Service, who also happens to be King Fahd’s son. According to documents filed in the Oklahoma bombing trial, Cannistrero was told that Saddam Hussein had hired seven Pakistani terrorists (Yousef is Pakistani) to bomb targets in the United States, one of which was the Murrah Building. Cannistrero then called one of the FBI’s top terrorist investigators, Special Agent Kevin Foust, to pass on the information.

Then there is former Congressman David McCurdy of Oklahoma, who made some particularly relevant comments when interviewed on the day of the bombing by CNN. "Well, my first reaction when I heard of the explosion," said the ultra-liberal ex-congressman, "was that there could be a very real connection to some of the Islamic fundamentalist groups that have, actually, been operating out of Oklahoma City. They’ve had recent meetings — even a convention — where terrorists from the Middle East that were connected directly to Hamas and Hezbollah participated." McCurdy, who was formerly the chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence, mentioned that many of these radical conferences had been captured on film in a PBS documentary by Steven Emerson, entitled Jihad in America. But like the other experts cited above, as the evidence developed to support their earlier observations, he has remained silent.

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