Skip to comments.Officer had clue before OU blast (police admit knowledge of attempted ammonium nitrate buy)
Posted on 10/06/2005 7:09:34 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana
Officer had clue before OU blast
By Randy Ellis and Ty McMahan The Oklahoman
NORMAN - Police here last week missed a chance to investigate a University of Oklahoma student three days before he apparently blew himself up Saturday outside the universitys packed football stadium, The Oklahoman has confirmed.
Joel Joe Henry Hinrichs III raised the suspicions of a Norman feed store manager and an off-duty Norman police officer Sept. 28 when he tried to buy the type of fertilizer used in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
The off-duty officer, who just happened to be in the store, was concerned enough about Hinrichs demeanor that he jotted down his license tag number and called the police department to check his identity, officials said.
Normal protocol is for that officer to submit an intelligence report when he comes back on duty, said Lt. Tom Easley, spokesman for the Norman Police Department. My understanding is that when the officer did return to work, he did submit one, but that was after the fact.
The bomb had already gone off.
Hinrichs, 21, is believed to have died in an explosion about 7:30 p.m. Saturday on a campus bench about 100 yards from Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Investigators are treating the death as a suicide. He was a junior engineering major.
Easley declined to release the intelligence report or name the officer who filed it, saying intelligence reports are confidential. A copy of the report was turned over the FBI, he said.
Dustin Ellison, general manager of Ellison Feed & Seed, said Hinrichs came to his store about 4 p.m. Sept. 28 and said he was looking for a particular kind of fertilizer called ammonium nitrate.
I told him I didnt have that, said Ellison, 25.
Ellison said he became suspicious when the young man couldnt answer the most simple questions, such as how much he wanted or what he planned to do with it.
I asked if he was trying to green up his yard, and he said, Something like that, Ellison said.
Hinrichs was wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt and a light green vest with a number of pockets on each side when he visited the store, Ellison said.
All the pockets were full, Ellison said, adding that he saw what appeared to be a wire with headphones attached protruding from one pocket.
I dont have any reason to believe it was anything other than that, he said.
Ellison said Hinrichs was alone and calm throughout his visit.
Hinrichs drove off in a blue Lincoln Towncar, Ellison said.
Ellison said FBI agents came by his store Sunday and he identified Hinrichs from photos.
Easley, the Norman police spokesman, said he is skeptical police could have stopped the bombing, even if they immediately had begun investigating when the officer first called in the license number.
Seventy-two hours on a piece of intelligence like that, I dont know what we could have done anyway, he said.
Officers could have used the tag number to get an address and then checked to see whether it was current, Easley said.
If they could identify a current address, they could have tried to question him, but that doesnt mean Hinrichs would have had to answer, he said.
Intelligence reports normally are forwarded to the police departments special operations unit, which categorizes them and decides what to do next, Easley said.
The unit deals mostly with drug investigations, so the information probably would have been forwarded to counter-terrorism officials to evaluate, he said.
Hinrichs Towncar remained outside his Norman apartment Wednesday.
The FBI apparently collected 13 plastic bottles, one car title and one insurance form from the car, according to paperwork on the front seat.
There also was a large atlas and several road maps on the front seat.
Cesar Robledo, Hinrichs next-door neighbor, said FBI agents questioned him about Hinrichs personality and habits, but didnt ask about his religion or any materials he may have taken into the house.
We always say, What do they do over there? They dont talk to us, so we dont know, said Robledo, 22. We have no idea whats on that side of the wall.
Contributing: Staff Writers Nolan Clay and Jane Cannon
What are the keywords for the list you're keeping on the Oklahoma suicide bomber?
I'll try to make sure, as I see them, that each article has the keyword so we can keep it all together.
That statement jumped out at me as well. I have started reading The Oklahoman with a eye toward paragraphs to get the information out. That was strangely worded.
D*mn! I had to drive a Chevette when I was in school. They got Town Cars these days!
I live in a Big 12 University town, and I pulled into the store parking lot here the other day in my 2000-model Chevy SUV next to a very nice black Lexus SUV. It had a sorority sticker on back and 2 college girls came out of the store and hopped in the SUV as I was getting outta my vehicle. I don't begrudge people having money and spending it, but I wonder what those girls have to look forward to from here on out? Once they're out of college and as young newleyweds/professionals just trying to get started, they're either going to be deeply disappointed or deeply in debt.......
Nothing to see here. Move along.
This whole thing is strange!
Silence everywhere. Deafening!
It looks like it's being treated as an isolated incident.
Tony Snow is going to discuss the OU bombing in just a few minutes:
FOXNews.com Media Player
This is starting to sound like McVeigh all over again and somehow I suspect that "far right extremists" would have gotten the blame again.
Listen, his goal was to kill Football fans... The reason I say so is because if you frequent the Gory and Snuff websites, like "The OGRISH" (sp?) and the like...
you will see that most "Crime Lab or Criminal Scene" photos, where a suicide has taken place, are of hangings or gun shots to the head or bank robbers who are at the end of the road and then kill themselves....., or of people jumping in front of trains or off buildings, or suicide by cop, ETC.
The suicides that have to do with BOMBs are of suicide bombers. You will see these pictures on those websites as well and the only part that remains is the tenacious and all durable head. The head doesn't explode. : ) I know it's wild.
I think America has seen it's first Suicide Bomber. Although I could be wrong.
Even on America's Most Wanted... there was a famous guy --- the Pizza Deliver Guy in NY State or PA, that was a Bank Robbers when someone forced him to go in with a Bomb secured around his neck. This guy said he was innocent and that the authorities should take the bomb off his neck. He didn't want to die.
The Bomb and Suicide combination is not the normal M.O.(Method).
Well that is my take and that's all folk... Have a great day.
Thanks for the heads up.
"Intelligence reports normally are forwarded to the police departments special operations unit, which categorizes them and decides what to do next, Easley said. The unit deals mostly with drug investigations, so the information probably would have been forwarded to counter-terrorism officials to evaluate, he said."
In other words, had he asked for grow lights with the fertilizer the police would have been all over him. These are our priorities?
julie just posted that Tony Snow will be discussing soon on his show!
Uh, Hummers? :)
I'm still waiting to hear what Tony thinks.....should be up soon.
However, the President's speech may interrupt.
Are you calling in? Doug
I recall knowing some Afghanies and Pakastanies.. in college.
When they would fly back to their countries they would be met at the airport by a limo and driver.
They were loaded... no big deal..
You had a car in college? I am impresssed.
The guy with the towncar is not a foreigner.
"They got Town Cars these days!"
I understand it's a used Town Car. And you need a big trunk to haul all that ammonium nitrate.
Tony says the 'Sooner Boomer' discussion is coming up.....sure hope it's woth the wait.
Good news is ...this indicates that FOX NEWS is on the story.....first major news outlet to even discuss the Jihad connection!
Aaarrghh!!! I've got to step out! PLEASE provide a running narrative!!!
There was a bomb scare at the local univesity several years ago. A son of privilege was incensed that no one met him at the airport. He was outraged that he had to carry his own luggage, find his own cab, etc. He left his luggage in the lobby of the Engineering college, where it was ripped apart and "disrupted" by a robot. I thought it was a hoot when he showed up and was pinned against the wall. In the accent of Baboo from Seinfeld "What are you doing? That is my luggage!My father will have you arrested!"
Oh, sorry, I have been writing without reading... I haven't had much time but recently realized that this is a big story... Today at work I'll do a personal survey to see if these people know about the story...
The results will probably show that they don't know of the story as the MSM is not covering it.
I wonder if the FBI and CIA told them not to cover it... maybe. As to gather as much info as possible.
About the Kid with the Town car...
Well I do remember that there was always rich kids in school... not the brightest kids.
But I was poor and loved the experience...
Not all people in college are rich and even some that are rich like a Toyota Corolla like Jeff Van Gundy.
Also has an air bag self leveing suspension....so when carrying a trunk load of bombs the car is level and non-suspisious.
Known as mafia staff car for carrying bombs, bullets, bodies and drugs.
Their fraternity brothers, otoh, have 72 virgins (or is it raisins, I keep getting those two confused) to look forward to.
Not all kids at public universities are spoiled snots, but it is a shock for upper middle class kids to find out what pay and living standards in the real world are like.
Did Tony spike the story?
DRATS....No.....he said....there was too much to the story do cover in the time he had left....so he'll discuss it tomorrow.
TOMORROW.....Suggest you follow the Tony Snow live thread on FR and/or LIVE stream of his show here:
That quote is quite revealing. Their behavior was such that the next door neighbors wondered what *they* were doing, not what *he* was doing.
I thought that quote was revealing/disturbing too. I've never wondered about neighbors "What do they do over there?" unless I suspected something weird or disturbing.
A highly-suspicious person walks into a feed store -- in Oklahoma, yet! -- and inquires about something he thinks is called ammonium nitrate. He cannot say how much he wants or what he wants it for. An off-duty policeman just happened to be in the store at the time, and watched this unfold -- Is that a lucky break or what?!! -- and three days isn't enough time to get anything done about it.
Apparently, this is what is meant by "Homeland Security."
That's got to be encouraging to any would-be Tim McVeighs in our midst.
"Also has an air bag self leveing suspension...."
Now I'll get paranoid every time I spot an old Town Car.
You're right: bombs + suicide = suicide bomber
Known as mafia staff car for carrying bombs, bullets, bodies and drugs.
Well, that's an interesting tidbit.
I'm embarassed to say I had not thought of that! Another member has been using OUBOMBING, which is probably as fitting as any.
...as I gaze at my blue Towncar in the driveway. Nothing else rides like it, though!
Remember this oldie?
(Midnight, one more night without sleepin')
(Watchin' till the mornin' comes creepin')
(Green door, what's that secret you're keepin?)
There's an old piano And they play it hot behind the green door
Don't know what they're doin' But they laugh a lot behind the green door
Wish they'd let me in So I could find out what's behind the green door
(Knocked once, tried to tell them I'd been there)
(Door slammed, hospitality's thin there)
(Wonder just what's goin' on in there) . . . . .
Thanks, backhoe. You can't think of EVERYTHING!
Don't worry too much. Those air bladders tend to crack and leak after 5-10 years ($500-900) and, if the owner doesn't replace them quickly enough, the air compressor burns out ($300).
Well, you'd think I'd have thought of that for my own post- but I plumb forgot about it.
Too bad the FBI covered the link to Tim McVey.
Great news, JulieRNR21. Thanks for the heads up.
Peach, can you please use "Norman Bombing" as a common keyword for all threads on this topic? We are using at least this one keyword to track related threads. Thanks a lot.
Ping to a "The Daily Oklahoman" article dated today, 10/06/2005. Thanks to hispanarepublicana for the ping.
Hi there... I mentioned adding this keyword to threads to rte66 on another thread - then discovered you had covered most already! THANK YOU!