The FBI has found evidence that former Iraqi soldiers were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma bombing that killed 185 people. A group of Arab men with links to Iraqi intelligence, Palestinian extremists and possibly al-Qaeda may have used Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols as front men to blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. TV reporter Jayna Davis, who covered the blast, has spent 7 years gathering evidence about a wider conspiracy. After hearing her evidence, several senior members of Congress have called for a new probe into the idea "that the Oklahoma bombing might not simply be the work of two angry white men."
What triggered her investigation was a report immediately after the Oklahoma explosion of Middle Eastern looking men fleeing the area in a brown Chevrolet truck minutes before the blast. The FBI launched an international hunt for the men but later cancelled the search. Days later, McVeigh and Nichols were arrested, and authorities focused on them as the bombers. But several eyewitnesses saw a third, dark-haired man with McVeigh, who became known as "John Doe 2." Terry Nichols, now serving a life sentence, was the original "John Doe 1," but the FBI eventually concluded that "John Doe 2" was actually him. McVeigh was executed two years ago, still insisting he alone was responsible for the bombing.
However, Davis learned that a brown Chevrolet truck had been parked outside the offices of a local property management company several days before the bombing. The owner was a Palestinian with a criminal record and suspected ties to the Palestine Liberation Organization. Later she found out he'd hired a number of former Iraqi soldiers to carry out maintenance on his rental properties, and several of them were missing from work on the day of the bombing. Eyewitnesses say they saw several of them celebrating later that day.
Then she learned about another Iraqi living in Oklahoma City, a restaurant worker called Hussain Hashem Al Hussaini, whose photograph was almost a perfect match to the police sketch of "John Doe 2." Al Hussaini has a tattoo on his upper left arm that indicates he was once a member of Saddam's elite Republican Guard. Several people saw a man fitting Al Hussaini's description drinking with McVeigh in a motel bar four days before the bombing (more about this later).
Other people have identified former Iraqi soldiers in the company of McVeigh and Nichols. Two swore they saw Al Hussaini only a block from the Murrah building in the hours before the bombing. Around 12,000 Iraqis were allowed into the U.S. after the 1991 Gulf war, including Al Hussaini, who had been in a Saudi refugee camp. "They are here," Davis says, "and they are highly trained and motivated."
It could be a coincidence, but after the Oklahoma bombing, Al Hussaini worked as a cook at Boston's Logan Airport, where the two hijacked aircraft that hit the World Trade Center originated. Also, two of the 911 highjackers held a meeting at a motel in Oklahoma City in August 2001. The motel's owner has identified them as ringleader Mohammed Atta and Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, who is linked to shoebomber Richard Reid. Another thing about this motel?it's the same place where witnesses saw McVeigh drinking with his Iraqi friends.
Stay vigilant, and remember: There's no such thing as doomsday.
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