Skip to comments.Warnings Before 1995 Oklahoma Bombing
Posted on 12/02/2004 6:52:48 AM PST by Calpernia
WASHINGTON (AP) - Just weeks before Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement received several warnings that Islamic terrorists were seeking to strike on American soil and that a likely target was government buildings, documents show.
The information, though it was never linked to McVeigh, was stark enough that the Clinton administration urged stepped up security patrols and screening at federal buildings nationwide, including those in Oklahoma.
The government, however, didn't fortify buildings with cement barriers like those hurriedly installed after McVeigh detonated his explosive-laden truck at the curb of the Murrah building on April 19, 1995, officials said.
Islamic extremists are determined to ``strike inside the U.S. against objects symbolizing the American government in the near future,'' said one warning obtained by The Associated Press.
The intelligence that prompted the warnings was gathered across the globe from Iran and Syria to the Philippines and became more specific as to the potential type attack (suicide bombing), target (government building) and likely date (after the third week in March 1995), the documents show.
The U.S. Marshal's Service issued an alert on March 15, 1995, to federal courthouses it protects, including the one in Oklahoma City across the street from where McVeigh's truck bomb killed 168 people, the documents show.
``Iranian extremists want it made clear that steps are being taken to strike at the Great Satan,'' a term used frequently in the Mideast to describe the United States, the marshal's memo said. It said a fatwa - a religious order - had been issued to attack marshals or their buildings.
``There is sufficient threat potential to request that a heightened level of security awareness and caution be implemented,'' the memo added.
Separately, the General Services Administration received a warning from the FBI and asked hundreds of federal buildings it operates to increase security details, including the Murrah building, officials said.
``We were told there was a fatwa threatening to target federal buildings,'' GSA spokeswoman Viki Reath said this week. ``We increased our patrols to 12-hour shifts.''
More than two dozen current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials interviewed by AP said the period of spring 1995 was a time of heightened ``chatter'' among terrorists seeking to strike the United States.
But the officials cautioned the FBI and CIA exhaustively investigated whether McVeigh could have been aided by Mideast terrorist and found no credible evidence linking him to any Islamic extremists, including those who prompted the 1995 warnings.
The information about 1995 emerges as a joint House-Senate panel examining the intelligence and law enforcement failures that preceded Sept. 11 has expanded its mission to look back at the late 1980s and 1990s.
John Gannon, former deputy CIA director for intelligence under President Clinton, said spring 1995 was one of a handful of periods in the 1990s when intelligence on terror threats peaked as the government increasingly turned its attention to Osama bin Laden and his emerging terrorist network.
Gannon said the 1995 warnings were plentiful enough that he initially assumed Islamic extremists had struck when the bomb exploded in Oklahoma City. Law enforcement too issued initial bulletins looking for Arab suspects and borrowed Arabic translators from the military.
``When I first heard about the Oklahoma bombing, the first reaction I had was I wonder if this were a foreign group that had done this or the Islamic extremists that had come up on our screen,'' Gannon said.
He said it was in 1998, after bin Laden issued a fatwa urging specific attacks on America and two U.S. embassies in Africa were bombed, that U.S. anti-terrorism efforts escalated markedly.
``If there was a watershed year, it was 1998. That significantly elevated our concern and resulted in a concerted effort, and a very strong program to go get Osama bin Laden,'' he said.
The 1995 intelligence was specific enough that ``if that was today, you'd have (Bush Homeland Security Director) Tom Ridge going out and saying we have this threat,'' said former Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla., who in 1995 was a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
McCollum formed a congressional task force in the late 1980s that began warning of the growing threat of terrorism, and which issued some of the 1995 alerts.
``For a good number of years, there was a failure to acknowledge the severity of the threat,'' he said. ``There really had been this disbelief or unwillingness to scare people.''
Former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said ``protecting America against terrorists was a high priority'' during the 1990s. ``Threat information regularly came in and steps were taken to deal with it,'' he said.
``In general, the record is very clear that the Clinton administration increased counterterrorism funding and focus more than any other prior administration based on the emerging threats,'' Lockhart added.
Some of the 1995 warnings were pointed.
``Iranian sources confirmed Tehran's desire and determination to strike inside the U.S. against objects symbolizing the American government in the near future,'' said a Feb. 27, 1995, terror warning by the House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.
The warnings became increasingly specific as to the possible location, type of attack and likely dates.
``These strikes are most likely to occur either in the immediate future or in the new Iranian year - starting 21 March 1995,'' the congressional task force predicted.
U.S. intelligence monitored a series of meetings and conferences between senior officials of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and other terror organizations in mid-February 1995 in which the subject of killing Americans on U.S. soil came up, officials said.
During these conferences, known terrorists made specific mention of Congress and the White House as ``institutions that are great enemies of the Islamist movement,'' according to a congressional warning.
``This is a deviation from past discussions beyond referring to the U.S. as a single entity to pointing to specific branches of government as their true enemies,'' it added.
Around the same time, the FBI received intelligence from the Philippines that two men later convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing had been arrested as they were plotting to blow up U.S. airliners. The men planned to hijack one airliner and crash it into the CIA, Pentagon or White House, documents show.
The marshal's warning explained that Islamic extremists had issued a fatwa to kill marshals personnel or strike their buildings because of an episode at the end of the World Trade Center bombing trial in which deputy marshals accidentally stepped on a copy of the Koran during a scuffle.
``Allegedly, the fatwa is being disseminated to persons in the United States who have the capability to carry it out,'' the memo said.
The terrorists could be suicide bombers who may ``target as many victims as possible and draw as much media coverage as possible,'' it added. ``Once the press is on the scene the new plans call for blowing up everyone.''
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there's almost a news blackout concerning this.
with the exception of a few, for example, ernie brown's america at night, there's no connect-the-dots between the 1st trade center bombing, okc, flight 800, + 9.11.
as a soviet emigre to this country once remarked to me in the early 90's in astonishment: " your television is controlled"! he was under the illusion that our television is free.
There is so much more to this story than has ever been discussed in the MSM. Read Ted Gunderson's (retired SAC of the FBI Las Vegas Division) accounts of the OKC bombing and the ensuing investigation, BG Ben Partin's (former Director of the Air Force Armament Technology Center and "father" of "smart" weapons) testimony to Congress, THEN read Jayna Davis's book. ...and the USG would have us believe that Vince Foster got to Fort Marcy Park before his car!
Hmmmm...now the Left (Guardian) is reporting a possible link between the OC bombing and the Islamofascists? Maybe we're about to see somethings start to move...?
CNN LIVE TODAY
Aired March 12, 2004 - 11:00 ET
KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Susan Lindauer is due back in court today. The former journalist and congressional aide insists that she is not an Iraqi spy.
SUSAN LINDAUER, ARRESTED FOR SPYING: I'm an anti-war activist, and I'm innocent!
ARENA: An indictment says Lindauer had repeated contacts with Iraqi intelligence officers in New York and Baghdad between 1999 and 2002 and conspired with two sons of Iraq's former liaison with U.N. weapons inspectors.
Lindauer says she was trying to get inspectors back into Iraq.
LINDAUER: I'm very proud, and I will very proudly stand by my achievements.
ARENA: In January 2003, two months before the U.S. invaded Iraq, prosecutors say she took a letter to the home of a U.S. official, saying she had access to Saddam Hussein's regime. Sources tell CNN that official was White House chief of staff Andrew Card, Lindauer's second cousin. The White House says Card never met with Lindauer and called the incident very sad.
LINDAUER: I'm an anti-war activist.
ARENA: Sources say Card alerted authorities; then the FBI set up a sting operation.
In June, prosecutors say, Lindauer met with an undercover FBI agent posing as an agent for Libyan intelligence, looking to support resistance groups in post-war Iraq. And near her home in Takoma Park, they say she followed instructions to leave unspecified documents at dead drop locations.
Neighbors were surprised.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was a Takoma Park-type person, pretty unique around here. We're a nuclear-free zone, as you know. So a very laid back, liberal sort of person.
ARENA: Prosecutors say Iraq paid Lindauer $10,000 for expenses and services. She faces up to 25 years in prison if she's convicted on all charges.
LINDAUER: This is what democracy is all about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, she's not going to make any comments.
ARENA: Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.
KAGAN: Kobe Bryant's accuser will have to break her silence. Her sexual past is about to be questioned. That story is coming up next.
And then, the incredible story out of Utah, a mother charged with murder after her baby is still born. Was her refusal to listen to doctors to blame?
And later, if it were a boxing match, you wouldn't even be into round one yet, but the gloves are already coming off. Kerry and Bush go at it when CNN LIVE TODAY returns.
Yes, thank...I read it.
What a tangled web...
It does seem that T McVey was executed rather quickly. Maybe they thought he'd spill the beans and those beans would be too damaging to Clinton to let spill over.
"In general, the record is very clear that the Clinton administration increased counterterrorism funding and focus more than any other prior administration based on the emerging threats," [former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart] added.
Indeed. And googling proves it. Domestic terrorists were a big concern to the Clinton Administration. White supremacists, anti-abortion activists, militias, religious cults, talk radio(?) -- you name it.
Anything on the right was carefully watched. Though attacks on our embassies and troops abroad did raise concern about foreign terrorism nevertheless the Clinton DOJ worked closely with the ADL and SPLC to write the FBI's year 2000 "Project Megiddo" plan to stop homegrown terrorists.
"...Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal centre in Los Angeles said that at a meeting in Lebanon this year , US neo-Nazis were represented alongside Islamic militants. 'There's a great solidarity with the point of view of the bin Ladens of the world,' said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors the far right. 'These people wouldn't let their daughters near an Arab, but they are certainly making common cause on an ideological level. They see the same enemy: American culture and multiculturalism.'
"Neo-Nazi websites, including the largest umbrella organisation, the National Alliance, show support for al-Qaeda. Billy Roper, the alliance's membership coordinator posted a message within hours of the 11 September attacks, reading: 'Anyone who is willing to drive a plane into a building to kill Jews is all right by me. I wish our members had half as much testicular fortitude.' Another group, Aryan Action, praised the attacks of 11 September, saying: 'Either you're fighting with the Jews against al-Qaeda or you support al-Qaeda fighting against the Jews.' Others outwardly support the anthrax mailing. ..."
[UK Observer/Guardian Sunday October 28, 2001, "Anthrax attacks' 'work of neo-Nazis,' Ed Vulliamy in New York"]
RENA: In January 2003, two months before the U.S. invaded Iraq, prosecutors say she took a letter to the home of a U.S. official, saying she had access to Saddam Hussein's regime. Sources tell CNN that official was White House chief of staff Andrew Card, Lindauer's second cousin. The White House says Card never met with Lindauer and called the incident very sad.
LINDAUER: I'm an anti-war activist.
If anything, there was a conspiracy of silence over the OKC bombing by people who were forewarned including a federal judge and a federal agency that was housed in the bldg. The judge admitted in an interview that he had warnings about the date for a possible attack and did not come to work that day. Guess it didn't matter to him and others in the know that there was a daycare center in that bldg. as well as hundreds of innoncent folks. Besides, Gen Partain (a proven expert in military style explosives) proved without a doubt that the anfo bomb could never have taken out the support columns in the Murrah bldg.
Any way to tie this in with the Marc Rich pardon/Oil for food involvement?
Good stuff.....do you have any info on the informant (Carol Howe) who infiltrated the Elohim City group and had suspicions about Andreas Strassmeir, a German national whose father was a high offical in Germanys intelligence circles?
Nichols met with al qaeda (abu sayef) members in the Phillipines before the bombing.
The point is not "warnings" before attacks that were earlier its what was done after or not done after that left the door open to the next.
The first WTC Attack in 93 the, two U.S. embassies in Africa bombed in 98 the Cole in 99 all done by Islamic terrorists the question being did we leave the door open to 9-11.
Now add in The OKC Bombing where Islamic terrorists linked to this and buried or dismissed for political reason by Clinton
Because bottom line the OKC Bombing done by domestic right winger extremist saved Clinton politically he used to slap down his critic on the right
An OKC Bombing linked Islamic terrorists would have hurt Clinton politically because there would he would be pressed to step up and do something by the middle/right while his base on the left would be dragging there feet
This is also why there still open question on TWA800 in 96 and even Atlanta Olympics bombing (some anomalies and a politically motive to bury Islamic terrorists links if there)
One off anomalies cases are one thing, multiple anomalies cases with politically motive to bury or dismissed Islamic terrorists links is another
. Its hard to connect the dots leading to 911 2001 if that was someone with politically motive was whitening out/whitewashing some of the dots to save there ass during the 90s
Nichols is still alive and has not told us everything he knows. What *we* know about him is that he spent time in areas of the Philippines where Abu Sayyaf also hold sway. We also know that the architect of "Bojinka" was in the Philippines concurrently with Nichols. Well, what are we waiting for? Get Nichols to talk. Perhaps, he needs to be flown to an undisclosed location overseas, where he could be made to talk.
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