Skip to comments.How Normal Is Norman?
Posted on 01/11/2006 7:27:58 PM PST by concretebob
Norman, Oklahoma (population 100,923), is as American heartland as it gets. So on October 1, 2005, when Joel Hinrichs III, a 21-year-old Colorado Springs, Colorado engineering student at the University of Oklahoma strapped explosives to his body and blew himself up outside the college stadium where 84,000 fans were watching a Saturday-night football game, thus earning the town the distinction as home to America's first suicide bomber, I was, well, curious. Within 24 hours of the event, three players in the unfolding story issued statements aimed at quashing rumors that the bombing was terrorist related.
University President David Boren, in letters to students, faculty and staff, focused on allaying security fears and not drawing inferences from the rumors: Just because Hinrichs blew himself up with TATP (an ingredient that is the hallmark of Middle Eastern terrorists' bombs), and just because Hinrichs' roommate, Fazal Cheema, was a foreign student from Pakistan, no inferences to Islamic terrorism should be made. "We should not judge others or jump to conclusions on the basis of color, race, gender, economic status or freely exercised religious beliefs," Boren wrote.
The FBI confirmed that a second cache of TATP explosives was found inside the apartment Hinrichs and Cheema shared. The bomb squad removed the lethal ingredients and exploded them off campus; according to a witness I interviewed, the explosion was heard five miles away. As to the suggestion of a larger terror plot, the Feds were firm: "At this time, there is no known link between Hinrichs and any terrorist or extremist organization(s) or activities."
Because of Hinrichs' Pakistani roommate, newspaper reporters questioned whether there was a Muslim connection. Mohammad Elyazgi, a spokesman for the Masjid An-Nur Islamic mosque in Norman, addressed journalists who asked if Hinrichs, whose photo in newspapers showed him sporting a beard, had recently converted to Islam. "We had never seen him until we saw his picture in the media," Elyazgi told reporters.
Elyazgi shared stories with the press about the racism that he, his family and other Muslims in Norman felt after 9/11 -- how he kept his "children at home for several days" for fear of retaliation. Elyazgi talked about the "chills" he felt when Hinrichs' bomb went off, how a "silent prayer" went through him, and how he hoped no one would "associate the incident with the Norman mosque." Elyazgi underscored Islam's commitment to pacifism: "Islam forbids suicide, and Muslims condemn all acts of violence."
Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar As I began investigating the suicide bombing in Norman, I was reminded by my editors of the Freudian adage: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a death-by-suicide bombing is just that. But this Freud/cigar idea got me thinking: Maybe sometimes a credential is just a credential. How do we know to believe the messengers? University President Boren is well credentialed (a former Governor of Oklahoma, a former U.S. Senator and former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence), and the FBI has its own unique credentials. But who is Mohammad Elyazgi? What achievements, personal qualities and background activities lend him credence?
In investigating Elyazgi's credentials, I was referred to and spoke with Mitchell Gray, a Norman resident and immigration attorney. Gray -- a former Operation Desert Storm JAG officer and Arabic speaker -- has been working on a book about extreme Muslims in America who disguise themselves as moderates. I asked Gray about Elyazgi, and Gray said, "Mr. Elyazgi and his family have made themselves public figures. They wear the cloak of officialdom. It's time Mr. Elyazgi officially explains his close ties to terrorists." Gray provided me with some interesting public-record documents in which Elyazgi's name has appeared.
To give Mr. Elyazgi an opportunity to respond to the documents, I called him at his office in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. I asked him if he stood personally by the statement he made on behalf of the mosque: "Islam forbids suicide, and Muslims condemn all acts of violence."
"Of course," he said.
I asked him to explain his relationship to a man named Mufid Abdulqader. I had reviewed 1995 court documents that list Elyazgi and Abdulqader as co-owners of Sinbad Greek & International Food in Oklahoma and as co-defendants on fraud and failure to pay charges (Case No.: CJ95 2176-66).
"You mean Mufid?" he asked.
"Yes, Mufid Abdulqader," I repeated.
"We're just friends."
"So you don't have a business relationship with Mufid Abdulqader?" I asked.
"No, no business relationship," he stated emphatically.
I told him about the documents I had in front of me.
Elyazgi changed his tune. He also seemed to lose his grip on the English language. "Me and him were together in business. In small shop."
I asked Elyazgi to comment on his former business partner's indictment on terrorism charges.
"He's a normal person," Elyazgi said. "He's an activist."
Abdulqader, who formerly worked for the Department of Transportation in Oklahoma and later in Texas, was recently indicted on terrorism charges for being a fundraiser for HAMAS (a Palestinian Islamist movement), one of the most violent jihadist terrorist organizations in the world.
Why Isn't Norman Newsworthy? Throughout 2005, suicide bombings were daily news. In the same month that Hinrichs exploded himself, 19 suicide bombers around the world killed 180 people and injured another 420 -- in supermarkets and restaurants and houses of worship, according to statistics offered by a website called www.thereligionofpeace.com. Those suicide bombers became news -- headline news. And yet the suicide bombing in Norman caused hardly a ripple in the media.
Norman, Oklahoma, is mentioned in the intelligence report prepared by the House and the Senate on the 9/11 terrorist attacks; this report, which Congress has declassified, references known terrorists' activities in Norman, Oklahoma, no less than 17 times. In examining this and other U.S. government documents, a disturbing portrait emerges: Norman, Oklahoma, has been associated with terrorist activity ever since Osama Bin Laden's personal pilot, Mohamed Ihab Ali, went to Norman to take flying lessons back in 1993.
It's true, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But sometimes, when you peel away the layers, you find something else.
Annie Jacobsen, author of Terror in the Skies: Why 9/11 Could Happen Again, writes about business, finance and terrorism for a variety of national and international magazines and webzines. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and two sons.
If you would like to send Annie Jacobsen an email, please click HERE.
I forgot to ping you to this reply of mine.
The link might be of interest to you.
Nope! Nothing to see here, folks! Move along now!
Thanks for posting the link! Too many people with their head in the sand sometimes.
Thanks for the ping!
Thank you for the ping.
Do you live under a rock? :-) There was a live thread going on this when it was happening.
Put in the search engine keyword Norman or poster PhiKapMom. She was at the stadium when it went off. There will be lots of threads and you can read all about it. Very scary.
Hmmm, I joined an OK ping list, but didn't get this. I even saw the headline yesterday in a different sidebar from the OK one, but didn't know it was about Mecca ... er, bad choice of words for the center of the Sooner Nation/Universe.
Liberty Rocks might have a little more info on Mufid Abdul-Qadr (correct spelling), as we did some additional sleuthing on him. He was co-incorporator with El-yazgi on the OKC mosque on St. Clair Ave. He has also been known to reside in Richardson, TX.
Interesting that he does have ties to Hamas. Here's the whole list of their co-defendants in the 1995 case with Crossroads Associates (their restaurant must have been in the mall):
Yes. My ex-Girlfriend from Tehran was the classiest lady I ever dealt with. Very secular and sophisticated.
enjoy your paranoia...
"enjoy your paranoia"
You might want to read up on the situation a bit, before slapping on the "paranoid" label.
Please provide me some authors, I'll attempt to read up on it...
I do ask in sincerity, what good would it do to cover up an overseas connection to the OKC bombing? What solid evidence is there that those two jokers weren't responsible?
"What solid evidence is there that those two jokers weren't responsible?"
It's not so much that they weren't responsible. It's that they had help ... Iraqi help. Jayna Davis would be an excellent start, as far as getting further into just why so many of us on FR believe that there is more to the situation.
I didn't know Libertyrocks was interested in this. He's(?) on my DC PING list.
"I didn't know Libertyrocks was interested in this."
LibertyRocks was compiling quite a comprehensive timeline on the OU bombing, if I'm not mistaken. This was very early on, from the original live thread forward for a month or so, until the new news slowed to a trickle.
Please clarify...are you saying that the government is choosing to not say that Iraq helped to avoid an international incident (coverup) or that the gov missed it completely and folks like the author you noted has evidence as such?
I am saying that the government is choosing to not say that Iraq helped. The reason or reasons for this remain open to conjecture.
So if it's so obvious he's the third terrorist, why was he not tried with the other two losers? Surely 23 eye witnesses were enough for a warrant/arrest?
Where is this guy now, does anyone know?
thanks...I guess I just can't think of any reasonable answer to why the entire slew of folks who reviewed the evidence would cover up if a foreign nation had anything to it...that just doesnt make sense and would be an incredibly difficult cover up...
It was easier to blame home-grown terrorists;
It was easier to link it to revenge for Waco;
it was easier than admitting a democratic administration could not protect the heartland of America from a dictator 10,000 miles away.
"So if it's so obvious he's the third terrorist, why was he not tried with the other two losers?"
Well, isn't that just the $64,000.00 question. I, myself, think that it has something to do with the bipartisan support for relocating (supposed former) Iraqi Republican Guard out of Iraq and into Oklahoma. I had believed for years that this relocation program was just a rumor or urban legend of sorts, but it is factual. Back in one of those OU Bombing threads, I'd actually found something from the congressional record, where Jesse Helms was condemning this program.
But, that's just my own thinking. It's really up in the air, as to just why. Seems like it's going to remain that way, too.
I'll give you this...Jayna is HOT!!
"I'll give you this...Jayna is HOT!!"
LOL. Not your typical talking head on the local news, is she?
One could only wish for such fortune...
No conspiracy theories here, but... "there is more than sufficient evidence" that the FBI,DOJ, et al, exhibited reprehensible lack of respect for the truth in OKBOMB.
Reprehensible...as in covering the crater with a 16-foot square of plywood (eight sheets) -- and then providing the visiting FEMA enginering team (who used FBI figures for their blast magnitude calculations) with information that the crater's diameter was 32 feet. (FWIW, the Fema team's own report states that they were kept 200 feet from the crime scene they were analyzing...)
Thanks for the ping! (Looks like we have another resident fedshill here -- and now they're quoting Scripture in their taglines...)
The more some Freepers try to deflect it is just conspiracy theories the more convinced I am it was outright international terrorism with some domestic stooges used for patsies to take the fall.
I think you are correct -- McVeigh was never going to talk. At the Nichols trial here in OK when the questioning started getting interesting, Nicholas did a plea bargain and I always have thought it was to protect his family.
Never thought either one of them would talk and they are the only ones who knew what was going on IMHO of the people they tracked down.
Here's a little more on the person(s) mentioned ...
[Mitchell Gray's long article about the OKC, Norman connections:]
[Interesting date for this workshop he attended]
ACTT Workshop - Project Pegasus
September 9-11, 2003
Appendix A - Workshop Attendees
Name: Mufid Abdulqader
Title: Senior Project Manager
Company: Public Works & Transportation
Office: City of Dallas
Mailing Address: 320 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Zip Code: 75203
Phone: Fax: e-mail: [I deleted]
[Abdul-qadr was first indicted in July 2004--here's one blog mention about his high position with the City of Dallas--elsewhere, I found where he was the contact person for many large engineering project bids. Ellipses (...) indicate my snips. More at links.]
(Dec. 1, 2004)
"The City of Dallas employed one Mufid Abdulqader, the half-brother of notorious Hamas leader Khalid Mishaal, as an engineer. It turns out that Abdulqader had some interesting extra-curricular activities.
Todd Bensman and Robert Riggs of CBS-11 News in Dallas report, in a wondrous tone, that "this professionally accomplished, highly affable public servant by day, was on weekends singing the praises of the terrorist organization Hamas, encouraging martyrs to kill Jews and glorifying violent Jihad."
CBS then quotes from a federal indictment how this "top fundraiser" for Hamas "performed skits and songs which advocated the destruction of the State of Israel and glorified the killing of Jewish people." ...
"CBS also reveals that Mufid and his Al Sakrah troupe raised funds for Hamas since at least 1990, in Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Chicago, New Jersey and elsewhere. Some of the conferences were videotaped by their sponsors, such as the Islamic Association for Palestine and the Muslim American Youth Association. The videotapes appear to have been repackaged, edited and sold or distributed as propaganda." ...
"The Dallas city government fired him in August, upon his indictment for helping the Holy Land Foundation funnel money to Hamas. The indictment accuses Abdulqader and six co-conspirators of raising over $12 million for HLF in 2000 alone.
Unembarrassed by all this, Abdulqader is trying to get reinstated to city engineer position, appealing his termination on the grounds that the criminal indictment was improperly cited." ...
Dallas News - August 6, 2004
Holy Land charity suspects released from jail
"DALLAS Three men indicted last month on charges of using a Muslim charity to finance terrorists were released from jail Friday while they await an October trial.
A federal magistrate ordered the release of the men, including the president and chairman of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which prosecutors say was a financial supporter of the militant group Hamas.
A prosecutor did not oppose their release during a brief hearing. Two other defendants were arrested in California and New Jersey and are expected to be returned to Texas, and another two are fugitives outside the United States.
In a clear sign of the government's effort to win the case, Attorney General John Ashcroft personally announced the indictments July 27 on charges including conspiracy, aiding a designated terrorist group and money laundering.
Holy Land president Shukri Abu Baker, chairman Ghassan Elashi and a top fund-raiser, Mufid Abdulqader, were released." ...
[Here's a more recent scary item I found:]
Texas Board of Professional Engineers
Regular Quarterly Board Meeting
August 11, 2005
9. Licensing Committee Report. Dr. Haden reported that the committee heard seven personal interviews.
Dr. Haden reported that Mufid Abdulqader let his PE license lapse for approximately three years and continued to sign and seal documents. He said that the committee was also concerned with Mr. Abdulqaders arrest and federal indictment for allegedly being involved with funding of the known terrorist group HAMAS. He said after the committee considered all the information provided, IT WAS MOVED AND SECONDED (Haden/Sweazy) to issue a license to Mufid Abdulqader, with the understanding that, if found guilty on the federal charges and imprisoned that his license would be automatically revoked. The vote was taken and the MOTION PASSED.
Looks like he also applied in January a year ago back in Oklahoma:
OKLAHOMA STATE BOARD OF LICENSURE FOR
PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS
201 N. E. 27 St., Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Friday, January 14, 2005, 8:00 a.m.
Request by attorney for Mufid A. Abdulqader to re-consider his PE re-licensure application.
[However, I can't find his name in the current licensee list:]
And here is the latest indictment, from just 6 weeks ago (opens in an Adobe pdf):
Basically, Mufid Abdul-qadr, the former business partner and co-defendant of Mohamed Elyazgi in Oklahoma City in 1995, is the half-brother of a HAMAS official and has been a long-time fund-raiser for the terrorist organization.
The indictment seeks to have $12.5 million returned that had been given to "charitable" organizations deemed by the USDOJ to be terrorist-related, over a period of time between January, 1995, and December, 2001.
Point being that covers the time period when Elyazgi and Abdul-qadr were running the restaurant together in OKC and also heading the mosque on St. Clair Ave. in OKC.
Elyazgi lives in Norman, and has since 1985. He has at least two children who are students at OU, out of his six offspring. He acted as spokesman for the Norman mosque when denying any knowledge of Hinrichs; his daughter is an officer of the Muslim Students Assn at OU; and he was an incorporator of the Islamic school, Annur Academy, in Norman, and is named on several of the mosque-related properties in Norman and OKC, or *was* before they were taken over by the National Islamic Trust.
(Rte66 Note: A family by the same rare surname was living in Tulsa in Apr 1986 and was interviewed by The Daily Oklahoman because their family in Libya had lost 5 family members to bombs from US planes which were aimed at Libyan targets. Their house which was struck stood next door to the French Embassy in Tripoli. From my research, I believe, but won't confirm, that the family in the article, Mohieddin and Farida Elyazgi, now 67-68, are the parents of Mohamed, 45, which would make the relatives who were killed his grandparents, aunts and uncles.)
That's good research. Do you want to be on the OKC/911 Connection ping list? It's pretty rare when something comes up, but the threads are always interesting.
Yes, please put me on that list. Thank you!
Have you ever seen a picture of the Dirty-Bomber Padilla and a sketch of the person supposedly with McVeigh?
Could someone put that together and post it?
BTW it's not paranoia, it's reality.
Way TOO many unanswered questions that just got swept under the rug.
Amazing how some of them just provide that "smell" even over the internet.
And yes I can wait till your Handlers give you the answers to the questions I asked.
Most likely I've heard them already and they are BS.
Why did the batf and fbi get ADVANCED warning that morning to NOT come to the office?
No idea...Are you seriously saying that all those people (FBI and BATF) got that message and didn't give a crap about the other people including the children in that building and just were like, whew, I'm glad my govenrment cares enough about me to warn me about a terrorist plot...screw the rest of those people tht will go to work there this morning they deserve to die in this terrorist attack that we know about and are covering up on purpose...come on dude...that's just dumb.
Why did the buildings across the street not get wiped out and the camera footage from one of those buildings was used as evidence?
Ever heard of a designed blast?
Why was the hole in the street below the truck minimal compared to the damadged front of the fed building?
Why did the SAR get stopped to "remove unexploded devices" from the remains of the fed building? (Conveniently by the baft boys so nobody else could see what it was and what ever happened to those devices?)
Who knows...i'm sure its part of the massive coverup that was so easily pulled off...
Do you REALLY believe that the damage to the fed building was caused ONLY by the truck bomb?
With the amount of explosive chemicals in that truck, yes.
If so then why was the rest of the same radius area not completely devastated by the same truck bomb?
see designed blast...it is possible to ensure a bomb explodes in a certain direction to attain maximum destruction to the intended target, how it works I don't fully grasp, but then again, I don't have a guff with the governement nor do i associate with known or unknown terrorists....
Drill away at me, but you raise some qeustions that in no way change my viewpoint...there very well could have been a middle east connection and it makes sense that those two arse clowns could have been in contact with terrorists, that i see as reasonable, but they did this...the paper trail was so plain to see...
Why do you thinkn the government would want to cover up any terroist involvement?
lol...very well, I probably am a rookie in terms of diving up to my toes into a wild goose chase theory that the government knew it was going to happen and then covered it up for no apparent reason...I was in London the day this happened and my first reaction was Arabs did this...then i saw the evidence trail and discovered my initial reaction wasn't the whole story...
Anyway, until you prove your theory i'm not buying...I saw sufficient evidence over the past 10 years to be content that the two people convicted did the crime...did they have help? Maybe, even probably...but there was no government cover up that the FBI/BATF and others pulled off...that is just so impossible...the sheer number of people who had to cover it up makes that so...
That argument sounds like the third gunmen theory in JFK's assassination...do you believe that as well?
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