Skip to comments.Has Terrorism Returned to America’s Heartland?
Posted on 10/26/2005 12:40:47 PM PDT by LibertyRocks
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - Has terrorism returned to the Oklahoma City area? That is what folks in Norman have been asking, ever since a 21-year-old student at the University of Oklahoma killed himself in what some are calling an attempted homicide bombing.
On Saturday, October 1, engineering major Joel Hinrichs detonated a homemade bomb near Memorial Stadium, where 84,000 fans were watching the hometown Sooners take on Kansas State.
That was just a hundred yards from a newly replaced bench -- it was there, just before halftime, that a powerful explosion ripped through the entire area, taking Hinrichs with it.
From the outset, both the FBI and University of Oklahoma President David Boren have insisted that Hinrichs acted alone. They say his death was a random suicide, carried out by a troubled young man, and that Hinrichs had no intention of hurting anyone but himself. But others who have followed the case closely are not so sure.
Mark Tapscott of the Heritage Foundation remarked, There are about 30,000 suicides in America--unfortunately--every year. And you can go back a decade, and you will not find a single one of those suicides who blew themself up in proximity, close proximity, to 84,000 people at a football game.
Tapscott and other online bloggers have questioned Hinrichs' true intentions. They point to his Pakistani Muslim roommate and the location of his apartment--just one block from the Norman Mosque.
It is the same mosque that convicted 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui attended when he lived in Norman. As for Hinrichs, a spokesman for the mosque told us he had never seen him there.
The first time we've seen his picture is when the news and the media put his pictures in the papers and on TV. Other than that, we've never seen him here, stated Mohamed Elyazgi, a spokesman for the Norman Mosque.
But in a CBN exclusive, a former neighbor of the mosque, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us she did see Hinrichs there--not once, but several times.
I did see Joel on several occasions outside of the mosque, actually, in the parking lot of the mosque, the neighbor said. It wasn't in the yard, it wasn't behind the fence, it was always in the parking lot when I would see him. And there was one time when I passed him, actually, on the sidewalk. As soon as I saw the picture of Joel Hinrichs on TV, not the clean-shaven one, but the one with the beard, I knew immediately that that was the gentleman I had seen on several occasions.
Hinrichs' father says his son never would have converted to Islam, and that young Joel was no terrorist. Joel Hinrichs Sr. declared, My pride is under challenge somewhat, by the fact that he took his life. But in terms of a terrorist, a terrorist is somebody who tries to scare other people. And there was nobody around when Joel did what he did.
But the FBI has admitted that it still is not sure whether Hinrichs tried to enter Memorial Stadium.
And why did Hinrichs attempt to buy ammonium nitrate fertilizer at a local feed store just days before killing himself? That is the same deadly material Timothy McVeigh used to blow up the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995.
We don't have a lot of people who come in and actually specifically state that they need ammonium nitrate, Dustin Ellison of Ellison Feed & Seed said. When it's used in that terminology now, it's kind of...it just catches your attention when somebody asks for that.
Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole understands the concerns surrounding Hinrichs' death. But he is confident that the FBI's findings are correct, and that Hinrichs only meant to harm himself.
Rep. Cole stated, We do have a person that has a long documented history of having a very troubled past. It's a person that had been isolated, who seemed a little bit odd. Who, according to his brother, had frequently been teased and tormented as a young person by fellow students. Sort of classic loner, who didn't fit in.
Law enforcement authorities found additional explosives during a search of Hinrichs apartment. Some news outlets have reported they also found jihadist literature. The FBI denies this claim.
But anyone looking to dig deeper will not have much luck--the Department Of Justice has sealed the search warrant for Hinrichs' apartment.
Although it has grabbed most of the attention, Hinrichs' suicide is not the only troubling incident to take place on America's college campuses these past few weeks.
At UCLA, authorities discovered what they called "an improvised explosive device." Near the University of California's San Diego campus, authorities found a homemade chemical lab in the bathroom of a student's apartment. The student killed himself as police attempted to enter the residence.
At Prairie View A & M in Texas, a student was arrested when authorities found bombmaking materials in his dorm room. He is also charged with trying to buy a handgun with counterfeit money.
And at Georgia Tech, in what officials now say was a prank, a student planted three explosive devices on campus.
As for the University of Oklahoma, it has tightened security at all home games in the wake of Hinrichs' death.
The Oklahoma City Memorial is a daily reminder of the deadly effects of domestic terrorism. And for many here, questions still linger about Hinrichs' death. Was it just a lone suicide? Or was it part of a larger conspiracy to bring terrorism back to America's heartland?
Ping for a new article - thank you to FReeper Nancie Drew! Quotes from a neighbor of the mosque who states seeing Hinrichs there!
OKC-911 CONNECTION ALERT. Please let me know by freepmail if you want to be put on or taken off this list. Thanks.
Then why did they find metal fragements in trees in all directions surrounding his location when the bomb exploded? Must be one of those inconvenient facts...
Just because a person is deeply disturbed does not preclude them from becoming a radical Islamist, or from carrying out a terror attack. The case can be made that mental illness actually makes an individual more vulnerable to recruitment by a variety of groups, including cults and terrorists.
Consider the following piece I wrote - please excuse the lack of formatting - you can view it with proper formatting at http://www.lauramansfield.com/j/showarticle.asp?id=167
Islam: A Haven for Misfit Souls
by Laura Mansfield
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
So reads the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty. For generations, it has called out to the poor and oppressed of the world, offering a haven that was regarded world-wide as a land of hope, freedom, and opportunity.
But today, in 2005, a new kind of beacon is calling many in America, who feel poor, oppressed, and tired of their current way of life. It calls out to those misfits, who dont ever feel like they fit in no matter what they do.
For many, that beacon is Islam; those who answer its call too frequently are consumed by its fire, just as the moth who flies into the candles flame.
Joe Hinrichs, the Oklahoma University junior who blew himself up on a park bench, while 80,000 fans cheered on their respective teams a few hundred yards away at a college football game, may or may not be a classic example of this.
Hinrichs was what many people call a geek. He was intelligent, very intelligent. His high school physics teacher, Janet Giddings, described Hinrichs this way: "He was extremely brilliant, just a genius. But like so many bright kids, he had some social issues."
Those who knew him in high school and at Oklahoma University not only agree on his intelligence, but point out that he was a loner.
He joined an engineering fraternity in 2002 at Oklahoma University called the Triangle. But as the end of the spring semester of his freshman year neared, minutes of the meetings of the Triangle fraternity showed that Hinrichs was struggling with his classes:
Minutes of Triangle meeting April 6, 2003, show the following comment attributed to Joe Hinrichs: Continuing to do nothing. The minutes of the next weekly meeting, on April 13, show that he was absent.
The following week, April 20, the minutes show that Hinrichs made the comment Continuing to make academic regress. And a week later, at the Triangle meeting on April 27, Hinrichs said the following: Doing badly in my classes -Trying to get late withdrawal from my classe
Like most college students, Hinrichs was assigned webspace by the university:
His website was first captured by the WayBack machine at webarchive.org on January 18, 2003.
This is Joe Hinrichs' website.
He currently doesn't have anything to put on it, but it does exist and it is here.
Disclaimer: The University of Oklahoma explicitly disclaims any legal liability for the contents of this page or information accessible from this page. Web pages are provided as a privilege to OU students to enhance their life long learning experience, and the opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the institution or its student body.
The website appears to have never been updated after that date.
A websearch for his school issued email address, email@example.com, shows very little.
He was even somewhat estranged from his family. Earlier this year his parents, Elaine and Joel, separated. His father has described receiving a few emails in the last month from him; earlier this year, he visited his family, spending half an hour with them while on a road trip.
We may never know with certainty whether or not Hinrichs was a radical Islamist. At this point, the evidence leads one to suspect that he may have been. His roommate was a Pakistani Muslim, reliable sources have repeatedly insisted that Hinrichs was a frequent visitor at the Islamic Society of Norman, the mosque near his home.
What we do know, based on the information available to us, is that Hinrichs certainly fit the profile of the individual that mosques throughout the United States and Europe target in their outreach: the disenfranchised, the misfits.
Humans are by and large social creatures. One of the most basic of human needs is the need to belong, to feel a part of a larger community. Most people who do not fit in and who are loners crave have an intense craving to belong to something to be loved, so to speak (and not necessarily in a romantic sense).
Islamic groups reach out to these loners, these misfits.
These individuals find acceptance and belonging in the Islamic ummah often, something they have never had before.
New converts to Islam tend to be the most fervent Muslims. They often embrace Islam with all of their being. They study the Quran and hadith diligently, often learn Arabic, and follow the five pillars of Islam to a degree that many who are born into the faith never imagine.
These individuals, finding acceptance for the first time, give back a strong level of loyalty, very similar in many ways to that found within cults.
This new generation of Muslim, the new convert, what Yousef Bodansky and Jayna Davis describe as Lilly Whites, are expected to become a formidable force in the Global Jihad.
They can fit in, and blend in easily because for much of their lives, as misfits, they have been blending, fading into the woodwork so to speak as societal wallflowers. They werent noticed before they converted; they probably wont be noticed now.
They dont look Middle Eastern; they dont speak with accents. From all outward appearances, they are loyal Americans.
If these new converts have been embraced into a radical Islamic community, one whose goal is the destruction of the United States, then those radical Islamists have come into possession of a lethal weapon one that poses a clear and present danger to the security of the United States of America.
Islam is one of many groups calling out to many who are poor, oppressed, and tired of their current way of life. It offers them hope, and a feeling of belonging.
But those come with a price one that we as a country may someday have to pay.
This is an important story that keeps getting buried by the press and MSM... for what reason?
Thanks for posting the article! Good research on the same last name for the two spokesmen! It will be interesting to see if there is any connection.
It's tough to be a parent under these circumstances:
Joel Hinrichs Sr. declared, My pride is under
challenge somewhat[somewhat?], by the fact that he
took his life. But in terms of a terrorist, a terrorist
is somebody who tries to scare other people [nothing
scary about blowing yourself to pieces]. And there was
nobody around when Joel did what he did.[except for the
84000 sports fans who were nearby].
Because blood will run in the streets if Americans become convinced that jihadis are here and actively committing terrorism.
The Lame Main-Stream media lumbers along, slow to report news with which they politically disagree.
... needs to lose his job.
Unless Americans realize the truth, blood will run in the streets, regardless.
I am so glad you posted your article. The attempt to purchase the fertilizer - that fact alone should be enough to know Hinrich was up to something big and was more than likely a "lily white".
Thank you for sharing your article Laura, it's very good! (o:
I personally have very strong suspicions that Hinrichs was indeed recruited and perhaps "used" by those who wish to further terrorist ideals. I do not think he intended to die on Oct. 1, 2005. Whether it was an accident or intentional we may never know...
Very well put!
It's all a matter of whose blood.
from personal observation, from reading data on other walking bomb-o-grams, and from reading Eric Hoffer's excellent "True Believer", I would say that the above description fits the classic profile of the Useful Idiot and common target of conversion to radical religions.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.