Wednesday, 15 October 2008

New Court Decisions in OKC Bombing

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Oklahoma City BombingFor more than 13 years, The New American has been a leading force in advancing the thesis that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the convicted conspirators in the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City did not act alone, and that the Clinton administration had engaged in a massive coverup of overwhelming evidence pointing to additional co-conspirators, both foreign and domestic, in the deadly bombing.

Two separate court rulings in August and September have removed some obstacles that have hindered parts of the ongoing investigation. On August 21, federal District Judge Reggie B. Walton ruled that a 2002 suit brought by Judicial Watch against the Republic of Iraq on behalf of victims of the OKC bombing can move forward. Judge Walton rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by lawyers on behalf of Iraq. The bombing killed 168 people and injured hundreds of others. McVeigh was executed, and Nichols is now serving a life sentence. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of over 20 of the bombing's victims, alleges that "the entire plot was, in whole or in part, orchestrated, assisted technically and/or financially and directly aided by agents of The Republic of Iraq."

The Judicial Watch complaint charges that prior to the Gulf War Iraq had developed a covert network in the United States, and after the Gulf War, Iraq converted that network into organized terrorist cells. Those cells, the complaint alleges, were "directly involved Oklahoma City, Oklahoma."

Judicial Watch notes that Ramzi Youssef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was identified by the U.S. Customs Service as an Iraqi government agent assisting with Iraq's weapons and technology programs. After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the complaint states, Youssef went in search of willing accomplices to carry out terrorist activities, focusing his recruitment activities on Southwest University in Cebu, Philippines. At some point, says the complaint, Youssef "recruited a willing convert in the person of Terry Nichols who witnesses say went to the Philippines seeking technical help in learning to build a bomb. Meetings between Terry Nichols and Ramzi Youssef were witnessed by a Filipino government informant."

After the Oklahoma City bombing, Abdul Hakim Murad, an associate of Youssef arrested for his part in a plot to bomb five American 747s, "admitted verbally on April 19, 1995 and in writing that Ramzi Youssef's 'liberation army' was responsible for the [Oklahoma City] bombing."

According to a CIA intelligence report, says the Judicial Watch lawsuit, "there was a 'squad' of people currently in the United States, very possibly Iraqis, who have been tasked with carrying out terrorist attacks against the United States." One of the three targets specifically mentioned in the report, notes the complaint, was Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Judicial Watch is now free to begin discovery.

Another court victory occurred on September 25 with a ruling by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball in favor of Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue's request to take video depositions in prison of Terry Nichols and death-row inmate David Paul Hammer, a prison mate of Timothy McVeigh. Trentadue has been pursuing his own independent investigation since his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, was murdered in a federal prison in Oklahoma City soon after the OKC bombing. Prison officials and the DOJ and FBI rushed to cover up the murder as a suicide. The FBI, which sought to prevent the video depositions, was overruled by Judge Kimball and appears to have exhausted its delaying appeals.

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