Skip to comments.OU death not linked to terrorism
Posted on 07/16/2006 9:04:08 AM PDT by MizSterious
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Hi - this is just a small "heads up" for something developing here in Houston - actually, in Texas City, just south of Houston.
Yesterday, an apartment complex had an explosion that blew out one apartment, killing one person and hurting another. Didn't seem to get much coverage or attention. I kind of figured it was a meth lab, because there wasn't any explanation given. The FBI was involved, but that wasn't unusual.
Well, seems today the residents of the complex, a fairly large one, are not being let back into their apartments as they had anticipated.
Turns out, the FBI and other LE agencies (not sure which) had to process for evidence some highly volatile chemicals that they were afraid to transport, and which they had to detonate onsite.
Now they have barricaded the first-floor apartment with trucks, so no one can see what is happening. The FBI is going to have a press conference within the hour. I may not know the details from that until our afternoon news - approx 4.5 hours from now.
This has all the earmarks of being similar to Hinrichs' concoction, but I don't know that for sure. Will pass along any further info.
Here's the brief HouChron story snip:
July 20, 2006, 9:28AM
Officials probe cause of Texas City blast that killed 1
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Officials were not yet releasing the identity today of a person killed Wednesday afternoon in a Texas City apartment explosion.
Texas City Sgt. Brian Goetschius said this morning that police have not been told what experts think the material responsible for the 3 p.m. blast might be.
He said local and federal officials were meeting today to decide how to clear the apartment of any remaining explosives.
The blast happened at the Lakeview Apartments in the 8000 block of the Emmett F. Lowry Expressway.
And a snip from an AP story:
" ... Authorities recovered explosive materials at the scene, but say they don't believe terrorism was involved.
Law officers want to interview the survivor. He was treated for burns and released from a hospital.
Authorities say at least two nearby apartment units also were damaged. ... "
Add'l update: Bomb Squad of HouPD is onsite now - TV is showing helicopter overhead shots - the trucks are dump trucks with their back compartments raised, with the back of the trucks in front the apartment in question. It is believed they will be detonating now. The bomb squad has pushed everyone back to clear a 2-mile perimeter (!!). The same dump trucks had been used to transport some of the evidence found previously. Presser is at 3PM CentralDT.
TV said it's streaming the helo shot live at http://www.abc13.com
I don't have a player on this PC, so can't verify it.
bttt, thanks, well he took shrapneled ordnance to a game to explode. So we'll call him a mass-murderist if that's how the FBI wants it.
He did NOT try to get into the stadium. There is NO evidence that he did.
If the FBI says so, then it must be so. Bullllllllllllllllllllloney!
Interesting. That's similar to what happened in an apartment building on the UCLA campus several months back.
Does anyone know anymore about the bomb scare at the Los Angeles Library a few days ago?
Or perhaps you're missing a sarcasm tag? I do that all the time.
More updates now - presser may be starting shortly
Apartment resident was mixing chemicals when the chrmicals blew up.
Other apartment residents heard a 2nd loud explosion this morning - that was the LE detonation. They are still finishing the evacuation of the whole complex, opening a 2nd Red Cross shelter and dealing with getting everyone's pets out and cared for.
OK - doesn't look like they're going to start right now, after all. Will update when I hear something. There may be streaming video coming up at http://www.khou.com as well as the previous link I gave. Not sure, but I think khou might make you sign up to get in.
I remember there was a cluster of explosions within a short time after the OU one - in GA and LA - those two stand out, maybe two in GA? Some were or one was a pop bottle "bomb" of some kind.
Then there was the break-in at the OU chem lab basement by the Eldridge boy and a partner in crime - I didn't follow completely through on that. Oh, and an unexplained, I think, explosion in somewhere like Choctaw near a football field and/or middle school?
Sorry to be so foggy on all that.
Presser now a minute away from starting.
OK, now starting. Texas City officials: owner, Mr. Nixon, of the Lakeview Apts. complex, and Police Chief of TX City, Robert Burby.
Apt #2009 - explosion in that apt at 3PM yesterday. Killed one person and hurt another. Very dangerous substances. Many more were in the apartment, too volatile to move. Detonated this morning. Another detonation will take place at 1PM. Thank you.
Police Chief - just wanting to make sure the zone is clear where the blast will take place. Thanking them for their cooperation.
FBI special agent in charge of bombs, answering press questions. Kasey Salway.
Believes it to be a peroxide-based substance, not yet verified, but believes it to be TATP (I guessed right) - it is a very large amount. It is in solid form (asked if liquid or powder). Can't estimate by weight - there are numerous containers of it.
It is too volatile to friction or movement to even sample it to identify it, but from what they've seen before, they believe it to be TATP.
(He said he has seen similar type substances last year! Oh, he said "overseas.") (Well, that *could* be OK, lol.)
Will place a small explosive charge to the substance. The heat will burn it up completely. Won't be a large amount of damage.
Media asks about what type of person did this - he can't answer that. I can't hear all the press questions, but evidently someone asked about terrorism and he said they are following the evidence and can't say more about that.
Was this actually mixed there in the apartment? Yes, we believe so. Has the 2nd person been arrested? Yes
Matthew Rugo - name of the deceased, 21 - student at Mainland College - apt leased in his mother's name
Curtis Jetton - the guy in custody - for providing false info - $10,000 bond
Should people be concerned that there is more substance around town? No, we have no evidence to suggest that.
304 units in the apt complex. They don't believe the detonation will destroy the whole building.
The police do have a robot, but it can't used for this.
Not taking time to proof this - hope it makes sense. They are still talking casually, but I want to post the substance of it.
Baloney. That's the official story, but witnesses DID see him trying to get into the stadium.
Have you seen this yet?
Bless you for transcribing this!! My goodness, lots to think about from this, and some research, too--who are these guys, I wonder--more jihadists in training? We know from the OU case that a bomber need not always be "swarthy." Drat, I have to leave for a few hours, but when I come back I'll see what I can find.
Pinging a few folks who might be interested in this possibly related story--see posts #101 & 110 by Rte66.
Nothing was really added the last minute or so and they cut back to programming. They are going to go live to the detonation at 1PM on at least one station, maybe more. That's less than 10 minutes from now. Will add whatever then. BOOMER!
Wow... Thanks for posting the info Rte66 and thanks very much for the ping mizsterious. So many of these college students and young people nowadays are brainwashed to believe the US(gov't) is their enemy and sympathize with the terrorists. I fear we will only see more of this...
Well, I just had a puter problem - very bizarre - while I was making notes while waiting for the detonation. It has not happened yet, BTW.
They started having storms in the area, then they started moving towards me, but aren't here yet. I had to reboot because my browser, for no apparent reason, just srtarted opening hundreds of pages and wouldn't close them down.
Anyway, I lost the notes I made, but they weren't really significant. Still waiting for the blast, lol! They have the Interstate (I-45) closed down both ways for several miles. Other streets all around are also shut down. They have evac'ed several other apt complexes around there, too.
Lots of yelling among the bomb people going on now, but just like instructions and all that. BTW, the BATF is also on this case - but didn't participate in the press conference. I'll be back when anything happens to post about, assuming I'm not in a storm or lose my notes.
Oh wait. Reporter says she has talked with Curtis Jetton's grandmother. The family is very concerned.
Jetton's mother is on her way back to Houston, is a long-distance truck driver and getting back. He has emotional, social problems - he is easily misunderstood and confused - needs representation. Curtis is 21, just moved in two weeks ago. He is bi-polar and may have problems in a jail cell.
Reporter said grandmother thinks this was "just a big firecracker" to the "boys." Rugo had had problems in the past, but had gone to class for a year and a half, every day, had straightened out.
They're now thinking it's going to be within a few minutes. Back later.
Thanks again. 'Big firecracker' bump.
Smoke coming out now. No loud concussion! Nothing much at all. Done deal. LE going back into the apt now. Huh.
Reporter on the ground heard sort of a bang, rather "uneventful" and that was it - 2 miles away. Didn't feel any rumble. The thunder has been much louder and more rumbling. Apparently, that is all!
Oh, one other thing. In the notes I lost in reboot - they said Rugo was cooking this on the stove when it went off. I don't think we ever knew Hinrichs's "method."
And one more thing I recalled - Jetton's grandmother said Curtis doesn't know Rugo is dead.
Thanks so much for sharing your notes with us. This is only being covered down there in Texas so far. No MSM has picked up on this story at all. There are a total of 9 articles at Google News.
Rumour does not become fact with the passage of time. This report indicates there was no such attempt. Though it is popular to complain about these agencies lying I doubt that is what happened.
No such person has surfaced.
You weren't at the game. I know people who WERE. (In fact, our own PhiKapMom was there, for one.) They are not liars, and they don't tolerate liars well either--nor are they hystericals who want to inflame everyone else. One ticket-taker (at least) turned this goon away; at least two witnesses saw it. But the official "line" is, it didn't happen. That you choose to believe those who want to cover this up tells me all I need to know about you. Enjoy your NYT, it's just your speed.
Baloney. They've "surfaced" but the media will no longer report it.
Rte66 did a great job. So far I haven't turned up any hits on those two guys, but I need to hold my nose and check out myspace.com before I give up.
I just love people who, from their armchairs in Chicago, decide they can tell folks who actually live here what "actually happened." (Yes, that's sarcasm, dripping in fact.)
** Report of attempted entry attributed to OU student and OU library security guard Adam Smith (see Ch. 9 video interview - http://newsok.com/video/1634831/). Adam states that a gate security guard told him someone sprinted off after the guard tried to search the backpack he was carrying. This reportedly happened at Gate 6 - per 9 news. You can read Adam's statements from a Tulsa World article - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1498353/posts .
I have almost become convinced that Federal Agencies have a protocol in place to reduce panic -- I don't think it's a matter of incompetance, the way these things are being handled is way beyond mistakes and idiocy on the part of these people. At least that's what I hope is going on...
However, just now there was a rerun of local WB News, which I never watch - and get this:
They said there are rumors that the two guys belonged to a "small anarchist group that doesn't like the United States." There was no further detail than that.
On the other hand, before hearing that just a minute ago, the following was the last "explanation" I had found, from a local blog:
UPDATE: The Galveston County Daily News seems to be ahead of the "bigger boys" with this tidbit:
TATP is shorthand for triacetone triperoxide, which has been used by suicide bombers in Israel, and was chosen as a detonator in 2001 by the thwarted "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, according to website Global Security.org.
It can be as or more powerful than military analogs. TATP is one of the most sensitive explosives known, being extremely sensitive to impact, temperature change and friction," the website that tracks military and terrorist issues reported.
Investigators said Rugo was possibly making explosives for a weekend "entertainment" activity where he and some friends liked to blow things up. ..."
Take your pick. I'll try to keep following it, as you can imagine.
More ... here are some excerpts from the HouChron's update of an hour ago:
" ... Asked about a televised report that Rugo and Jetton may have been part of a four-member local anarchist group, Burby said late Thursday: "I have nothing to substantiate that and I don't know where that came from."
FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap said: "We have not confirmed that information at this time."
Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle said there were no hints of terroristic activity.
"If we thought that this was a terrorist act, the action would be a lot different than we've seen today," Doyle said after an afternoon news conference in a city that is home to one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world. "Certainly, the FBI would have raised the level of security inside the city."
Rugo formerly lived in Bellville in Austin County, according to public records.
Texas Department of Public Safety records show he was arrested Feb. 2, 2004, in Austin County for carrying a switchblade. He was charged with carrying a prohibited weapon and pleaded guilty on April 1, 2004. He received six months probation.
Austin County District Attorney Travis Koehn said Rugo lived in Austin County at the time of the offense and he successfully completed the probation.
Koehn said Rugo also was charged in March 2005 with burglary of a habitation. Kohen said Rugo and co-defendant Christopher J. Distefano, 20, of Bellville, were accused of stealing rifles and other items from a home.
Koehn said Rugo had pleaded guilty in the case but had not yet been sentenced. Distefano also was facing sentencing.
Before they detonated their own explosives in Rugo's damaged apartment Thursday, bomb experts said they didn't expect a huge explosion but couldn't guarantee what would happen. When they triggered the blast, it produced a low rumble, a large puff of gray smoke and little debris.
"The apartment does have severe damage to it now," Texas City police Capt. Brian Goetschius said. "But we believe it was structurally severely damaged also by the original blast."
Federal and local officials said they believe the substance was peroxide-based and similar to TATP, organic peroxide and a primary high explosive. It takes the form of a white crystalline powder with a distinctive acrid smell and has been described as a weapon of choice for suicide bombers.
TATP can be easily prepared in a basement lab using starting materials obtained from hardware stores, pharmacies and stores selling cosmetics, according to the Global Security Web site.
Although the substance that killed Rugo was described by FBI Special Agent Kasey Salway as "extremely sensitive to heat, shock and friction," and very powerful in relatively small amounts, the two blasts left just one of Lakeview Apartments' 22 separate buildings temporarily uninhabitable Thursday.
Sean Davis, 17, a La Marque High School student who is taking classes at College of the Mainland, said he has lived all his life at Lakeview but didn't know Rugo.
"Nothing like this has ever happened here before," Davis said. "I'm shocked."
Rugo's attorney, Candelario "Candy" Elizondo of Houston, was traveling Thursday in Louisiana when he learned of Rugo's death.
"I am shocked, I'm shocked. I really am," Elizondo said.
He said Rugo was going to school and was doing well.
"He had turned himself around, he was a really good guy," Elizondo said. "He was doing real good." ..."
I guess "boys will be boys" - or "boys will be pyromaniacs." So, what's wrong with making Mentos fountains for a hobby? *sigh*
Victim a member of pyromaniac subculture
By TJ Aulds
The Daily News
Published July 21, 2006
TEXAS CITY A college student killed Wednesday afternoon in a blast at the Lakeview Apartments likely was part of a growing subculture of young people who like to see things blown up, authorities said.
Those same authorities insist he and a friend injured in the blast were not associated with any terrorist group domestic or otherwise.
That word contradicted TV news reports attributed to unnamed, highly placed federal sources that said the pair might be members of a four-person domestic terrorist group.
Investigators said Matthew Rugo may have been making explosives as part of a regular weekend activity during which he and friends blew things up for fun. While such activity is generally limited to fireworks, aerosol sprays or gunpowder, a growing number of people are making more powerful homemade bombs and recording the explosions on digital video, investigators said.
Such videos are popular on sites such as YouTube.com and MySpace.com.
Texas City police and the FBI continue to look closely into the backgrounds of Rugo and Curtis Jetton.
But the day after an explosion killed Rugo and slightly injured Jetton, investigators said they had found nothing to indicate the two were more than weekend explosive devotees.
Jetton was in the Galveston County jail on a felony charge of possession of explosives or explosive components and a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report. He was being held on bonds totaling $60,000.
Our police and the FBI have been minutely examining their backgrounds and nothing to date indicates they are involved in any terrorist activities, said Bruce Clawson, director of homeland security for Texas City.
An FBI spokesman confirmed that no evidence had been uncovered to link Rugo or Jetton to any terrorist group. Mayor Matt Doyle cautioned against reading more into the investigation.
Had this been something bigger, like a terrorist-related thing, you would have seen a whole different reaction, Doyle said. If it was something other than these two guys wouldnt you think the FBI would have raised the terror alert level?
Rugo, who was a student at College of the Mainland, did have a criminal background. In 2004, he was arrested in Austin County on a prohibited weapons charge, spent six days in jail, paid a fine and was given a deferred sentence.
Jetton, who lives in La Marque, was arrested in 2005 on a drug possession charge in Johnson County.
Few who lived at the apartment complex knew either man. Mike Raper said he had seen Rugo around the complex and only met Jetton last week.
He had seen me around and thought I may be looking for a job, said Raper, who owns a lawn and landscaping business. He said he was going to bring me an application to work for the company he worked for to make some good money.
Raper said that on Sunday, he ran into Jetton again and asked about the application.
Thats when he told me he had been fired, next thing I know I hear about the bombs in that apartment, he said.
Mickey Greene, the operations manager for Will Duett, a Galveston firm that specializes in cleaning offshore storage tanks and oilrigs, confirmed Jetton worked for him until recently. He said he told Jetton he wasnt needed anymore after failing to report to work Saturday.
Prior to Will Duett, Jetton worked for Farmers Fabrication Shop in La Marque. A person answering the phone at Farmers confirmed Jetton worked there but would not comment any further.
None of whom have come forward.
Being at the game is irrelevent since there were 60,000 or more almost none of whom saw anything or every heard much.
I have not accused anyone of being liars though you have accused the FBI of being that. Nor have there been anyone who has declared that they are the ones who saw this guy.
Most of the wild rumours swirling around when this happened have been without substance.
Snide remarks are not substitutes for reason. Nor paranoia for analysis.
Riiight. Of course, it won't. Go fan your fevered brow before the vapors set in.
But the question is where is this security guard? Second hand reports are of little value.
Where was there any indication of panic to be avoided? Why does the government report on plots averted and people arrested for plotting attacks if there is this overwhelming drive to avert panics? Informing the people that there were plans to attack the LA Library, the New York Tunnels and other places seems to be no less panic-inducing than reporting the truth about this incident.
Sorry this does not add up as an information suppression exercise. It does not benefit the government and would illustrate the depth of the problem the US faces with terrorism if it were terrorist inspired.
Remember also the shoe bomber.
They always call him Richard Reed.
His name is Abdel Rahim.
We have the same birthday.
Well, you've just proven the old adage, you can't reason with the unreasonable. Liberty Rocks just showed some sources, and I have mine (in law enforcement) but you prefer the NYT version. Have fun with that.
The only "vapors" I see are the ones coming from your posts. BS will do that sometimes. People used to say the same things to me about the OKC bombing (most of them from some place like Chicago where they didn't have a single clue), and now I've been proven right, by a lot of people, including one from Chicago who's NOT clueless, David Schippers.
Thanks for all of these--been having computer problems today, and just now logging on.
Nice try but there is no comparison between OKC and this guy's actions or backgrounds. But I am sure that won't stop you from lying about it.
I'm not the one lying. I've seen useful idiots like you before, I'm sure you won't be the last.
YW. Just one more note ... LE found 9 more detonators already made, stored in a closet. I had read that the London bombers had 30 detonators made, which were found afterwards.
The media seems to have been mistaken when they reported that the TATP was "on the stove" and had been "cooking." The latest word was that it exploded when it was "moved" and another media source said "handled."
When they showed the inside of the gutted apartment on the news last night, there were empty 2-liter soda pop bottles everywhere on the floor and I remembered that Hinrichs also had lots and lots of them in the trunk of his car; don't recall whether they found a bunch of them inside his apt or not.
If the finished product is so volatile, I can't imagine that they put huge quantities of it in those bottles - or maybe they do, since the detonators are not in proximity. However, if heat, friction or movement can cause a detonation, seems to me there would be few things that *aren't* detonators.
I still don't get how Hinrichs walked around or biked around with it on his person without blowing up before he did.
Oh, also, they showed some people from the NYPD bomb squad down here visiting the site and taking lots of pictures - the voice-over said they were studying the case for help in dealing with terrorism.
This is almost deja vu all over again. I have heard that about TATP, and apparently, the older it is, the more unstable it becomes (someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this). As for how Hinrichs moved it around as we know he did, it's possible that with his engineering background, he was more exacting in putting together his recipe--and his ME roommie might be the more experienced of the two, also. (We hear nothing else of the roommate...did he use that one way ticket to the middle eastern country?)
It wasn't his roommate who had the ticket. It was someone unrelated to the Hinrichs case.
It was a visiting OU professor from Algeria who was leaving to go back to Algeria the next day. He was among the people detained that night because the roommate, Cheema, had gone to a small party at another apartment in the complex and FBI wanted to question all of them who were there. It had nothing to do with Hinrichs. Cheema is Pakistani, not from Africa.
You are most certainly lying about where I obtain information. You are merely deluded as to the validity of yours.
It's true he could set it off by opening the container. However, given that the sound was easily heard inside a packed stadium (By hearwitness FReeper PhiKapMom!) means that it would have had to be a pretty large container.
Then there was all the other bomb making material found in his apartment. PhiKapMom also heard the detonation of that by the bomb squad, despite the bomb squads facility being some distance from her home. The stuff stinks too, I'd think that not only his roommate, but the neighbors in the nearby apartments would have smelled the stuff. By all reports most of the them were Muslims though, so maybe they didn't find the stench unusual, just somebody building a bomb.
Not the locals, the FBI. Living elsewhere won't help, unless it's Australia, but then again they have their own problems with "Lebanese" yutes.