"There were people in a position of authority that
knew something was going to come down, and they didn't do anything about
it… and people got killed." — Tom G., 22-year CIA/DIA
The logistical apparatus which allowed the PFLP-GC to bomb flight 103
was a controlled drug delivery at Frankfort airport — a sting operation
run with the full knowledge of American, German, and Israeli intelligence. It
was a sting operation that had been penetrated by Middle Eastern terrorists
intent on wrecking havoc.
In Oklahoma City, another sting operation was underway. Like the DEA's
controlled delivery of drugs through Frankfort, the ATF and the FBI would seek
to utilize a "controlled delivery" of a bomb in Oklahoma City.
As previously discussed, the FBI, ATF, and U.S. Marshals, all had ample
prior warning. Not only had the Marshals Service been warned of a Fatwa
against American installations as a result of the World Trade Center
convictions, but the FBI had received warnings from the Israelis, the Saudis,
the Kuwaitis, and their own informant, Cary Gagan, concerning threats against
federal buildings in Phoenix, Denver, and Oklahoma City.
Additionally, ATF informant Carol Howe had specifically warned
authorities about a neo-Nazi plan to blow up a federal building in either Tulsa
or Oklahoma City as far back as November of '94.
As the fateful day drew closer, the warnings began pouring in. Judge
Wayne Alley, whose office sits across from the Murrah Building, was warned
several weeks prior to the blast by "security officials" to take "extra
precautions." The federal judge, who was not in his office at the time, but
whose clerks were injured in the blast, told the Portland Oregonian, "Of
all the days for this to happen, it's absolutely an amazing coincidence." When
asked to discuss the nature of the warnings, Alley said, "Let me just say that
within the past two or three weeks, information has been disseminated…
that indicated concerns on the part of people who ought to be a little bit more
This is not surprising. Gagan had warned the FBI as far back as
September that federal agents and judges were targeted for assassination. As
previously noted, Gagan had been deep inside the Middle Eastern cell involved
in the bombing. Gagan informed the feds on September 21, 1994 that his Arab
comrades had been cruising Denver in a white Mercury photographing federal
agents. Gagan told the author that he was instructed to assassinate Judge Lewis
Had the feds warned Judge Alley? "My subjective impression," said Alley,
"was there was a reason for the dissemination of these concerns, strongly
suggesting an impending proximate event."
The Oklahoma City Fire Department, unlike Judge Alley, had the benefit
of more specific warnings. On Friday, April 14, the FBI placed a call to
Assistant Chief Charles Gaines to warn him of a potential terrorist threat
within the next few days.
When Glenn Wilburn confronted Gaines, he was met with a blanket of
denial. Wilburn then walked down the hall and confronted Chief Dispatcher
Harvey Weathers, who unhesitatingly replied that they had in fact
received a warning. Wilburn told him, "Well, you're going to be surprised to
learn that Chief Gaines' memory is failing. He says it never happened."
Weathers replied, "Well, you asked me and I told you. I'm not going to lie for
anybody. A lot of people don't want to get involved in this."
When Assistant Chief Jon Hansen was later interviewed by KFOR's Jayna
Davis, he said he could no longer recall just exactly who had called the
Department, but convincingly reassured skeptics, "The FBI came in yesterday and
told me it wasn't them."
Yet two reserve Sheriff's deputies on duty at the Murrah Building the
night of the bombing, Don Hammons and David Kachendofer, signed sworn
affidavits that Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK) told them of the
government's prior knowledge. Kachendofer was guarding the northwest corner of
the building when Istook approached and chated with him. Kachendofer relates
the conversation: "[Istook] made the comment to me, he says, 'Yeah, we knew
this was going to happen.'
"And I said, 'Excuse me?'
"And he says, 'Yeah, we knew this was going to happen. We got word
through our sources that there is a radical fundamental Islamic group in
Oklahoma City and that they were going to bomb the Federal Building.'"
The day after the bombing, Oklahoma City FBI SAC Bob Ricks (of Waco
infamy), managed to keep a straight face while announcing to reporters: "The
FBI and Oklahoma City has not received any threats that indicated that a
bombing was about to take place."
Like the fox assuring the farmer that he hadn't made off with any
chickens, the FBI's claims proved of little solace. Fortunately for the FBI,
the audio logs of the Fire Department's incoming calls were mysteriously
As The Daily Oklahoman reported on August 14, 1997:
…Vance DeWoody, owner of Opal's Answering Service, and his
employee, Pat Houser… received an anonymous telephone call saying that a
bomb was going to go off in the office of the U.S. Secret Service on the ninth
floor of the Murrah Building.…
Opal's… takes calls for the Secret Service. The call came four days
before the bombing. Then, on the morning of April 19, the Executive
Secretariat's Office of the Justice Department received a mysterious call from
someone claiming the Murrah Building had just been blown up… 24 minutes
before the blast! ABC 20/20 quoted the official government document:
The Department of Justice… received a telephone call…
twenty-four minutes prior to the bombing… The caller said, "The Federal
Building in Oklahoma City has just been bombed."
ABC anchor Tom Jarriel noted that "no action was apparently taken" by
the Justice Department in response to that strange emergency call minutes
before the blast.
Not long after Bob Rick's announcement, Carol Howe and Cary Gagan would
make their presence known — informing the public that the government did
indeed have prior knowledge of the attack. To cover themselves, the government
only admitted that they had vague, unspecified warnings of the impending plot.
As Stephen Jones wrote in his brief of March 25, 1997:
Soon the government's position will revert to the ridiculous and it will
only deny any knowledge that the Murrah Building was specifically targeted at
9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, to be destroyed by a bomb delivered in a Ryder
rental truck by Timothy McVeigh.… That is the Federal Government playing
word games in order to avoid what is potentially the single most embarrassing
and humiliating situation since the public found out that the FBI had an
informant inside the terrorist group that bombed the World Trade Center in New
York — an informant that actually helped make the bomb — but they
bungled the entire situation and did not prevent that tragedy.
Nevertheless, it wouldn't be long before a significant percentage of the
population would learn about the suspicious activites in Oklahoma City the
morning of April 19. Attorney Daniel J. Adomitis was driving downtown around
7:30 a.m. that morning when he noticed a white bomb squad truck parked on the
west side of the courthouse, close to the Murrah Building. Adomitis told the
Fort Worth Star/Telegram, "I remember thinking as I passed that, 'Gee, I
wonder if they had a bomb threat at the County Courthouse?'"
Norma Smith, who worked at the Federal Courthouse across from the Murrah
Building, saw, along with numerous others, the Bomb Squad congregated in the
parking lot. Smith recounted her story for her hometown Texas newspaper, the
The day was fine, everything was normal when I arrived at 7:45 to begin
my day at 8 a.m., but as I walked through my building's parking lot, I remember
seeing a bomb squad. I really did not think about it — especially when we
did not hear more about it....
There was some talk about the bomb squad among employees in our office.
We did wonder what it was doing in our parking lot. Jokingly, I said, "Well I
guess we'll find out soon enough"....
Renee Cooper, whose infant son was killed in the day-care center, was
driving down Robinson Street when she saw several men in dark jackets standing
in front of the Federal Courthouse. The men's jackets were inscribed with the
words "Bomb Squad."
Reporter J.D. Cash spoke with a woman whose brother worked in the
Federal Building. "Frantic with worry, Jackie Stiles said she talked to an FBI
agent at the scene who told her there had been a bomb threat made against the
Murrah Building the previous week."
This fact was also confirmed by Michael Hinton, a former police officer
who was staying across the street at the YMCA. Hinton witnessed what appeared
to be a bomb threat evacuation of the Murrah Building two weeks earlier.
Naturally, the Bomb Squad denied being there. In an interview with Jayna
Davis, Sheriff J.D. Sharp claimed that the Bomb Squad truck was ten miles away
at the time. "I can assure you from the testimony of witnesses and the bomb
commander that our bomb unit was not anywhere near the Murrah Building the
morning of the blast," said Sharp.
When the author attempted to interview two members of the Bomb Squad,
one of them became visibly nervous, and demanded that I speak to his superior.
He denied removing additional bombs, or being at the Federal Building early
The Sheriff's Department later told NBC Extra's Brad Goode that the Bomb
Squad was in fact deployed downtown for "training purposes," but claimed
they were not in bomb attire. At the same time, the OCPD told Extra the Bomb
Squad was not there at all.
Reporter J.D. Cash received a similar response from Bomb Squad Captain
Robert Heady. When confronted with the fact that at least two eye-witnesses saw
the Bomb Squad members in their black t-shirts with the words "BOMB SQUAD"
emblazoned across their chests in silver-white letters, the captain said, "We
don't wear those type shirts."
Interestingly, a videotape made by Deputy Sheriff Melvin Sumter at the
scene of the blast shows the Bomb Squad members, along with the captain, in
t-shirts with words "BOMB SQUAD" in large silver-white letters written across
Still, the Bomb Squad would attempt to maintain this duplicitous
charade. When he was summoned before the County Grand Jury reinvestigating the
blast, Deputy Bill Grimsley claimed that the bomb squad was indeed downtown
that morning. Grimsley claimed that he had left the county jail at 7:00 a.m.,
stopped at the nearby courthouse for a few minutes to take care of an errand,
went to McDonald's for breakfast, then drove to the bomb training site ten
Yet Norma Smith saw the Bomb Squad truck downtown at 7:45 a.m. Renee
Cooper saw it five minutes after eight — hardly in keeping with Grimsley's
Others, like Oklahoma Private investigator Claude Criss and County
Appraiser J.D. Reed saw the Bomb Squad downtown in full gear. "The presence of
law enforcement was in the air," said Criss. "It was everywhere downtown that
As previously discussed, Debra Burdick was sitting at a red light at
10th and Robinson, five blocks from the Murrah Building. "…as the light
changed, we started through the intersection," recalled Burdick, "and [that's
when] the bomb went off… And right after that, here comes the Bomb Squad,
before the ambulances and the Fire Department." As Burdick's husband remarked,
"they would have had to have had some kind of warning to respond that quick,
because they would have had to get in their gear and everything."
J.D. Reed, who rushed out of the County Office Building when the bomb
went off, later wrote in a company newsletter: "The paramedics and firemen were
already at work. How could they move so quickly? They were there by the time we
got down to the street!"
The testimony of Burdick and Reed dovetails with that of Criss, who
arrived at his office at 8:58 a.m. "I heard a lot of sirens at that time," he
said. "A lot of sirens, coming from the west, approaching downtown. There was
approximately seven trucks that were traveling at a high rate of speed. When
they reached the top of that hill right there, the explosion went off."
When ABC's Extra contacted the Oklahoma City Fire Department to inquire
about Criss's claim, they replied, "We can't really confirm or deny that
As Sergeant Yeakey, one of the first rescue workers at the scene later
wrote to bombing survivor Ramona McDonald:
Everyone was behind you until you started asking questions as I did, as
to how so many federal agents arrived at the scene at the same time.… For
those who ran from the scene to change their attire to hide the fact that they
were there, should be judged as cowards.
Rodney Johnson, who almost hit McVeigh and John Doe 2 as they ran from
the scene minutes before the blast, didn't miss the presence of law-enforcement
officers who seemed to materialize out of thin air. Where had they come
Associated Press photographer Pat Carter, who was at the scene within
one hour of the blast, said that ATF agents were wearing full combat gear. Had
they been preparing for a bust?
HUD worker V.Z. Lawton was on the eighth floor of the Murrah Building
when the bomb(s) went off. Lawton described four men who gave him a ride home
that afternoon. They told him they were General Services Administration (GSA)
employees out of Fort Worth, and were there doing a "routine" security check on
the Federal Building. The men told Lawton this "security check" was conducted
in the wee hours of the morning.
Two of the men, Dude Goodun and Brent Mossbarger, later told the
Daily Oklahoman they did not take Lawton home that day.
Even more interestingly, it was alleged that no ATF agents (as opposed
to clerical workers) were in the Murrah Building at the time of the blast. Word
of this quickly spread when Bruce Shaw, whose wife worked in the third-floor
credit union, ran up to an ATF agent anxiously asking of her whereabouts. Shaw
told KFOR's Brad Edwards that the agent "started getting a little bit nervous.
He tried reaching someone on a two-way radio. [But] couldn't get anybody. I
told him I wanted an answer right then. He said they were in debriefing, that
none of the agents had been in there. They'd been tipped by their pagers not to
come to work that day. Plain as day out of his mouth. Those were the words he
The second witness, Shaw's boss Tony Brasier, was present when the agent
made those comments, and confirmed to KFOR the accuracy of Shaw's
The third witness was Tiffany Bible, a paramedic. When she asked an ATF
agent on the scene (dressed in a black "Ninja" suit) if any of his fellow
agents were still in the building, she was told they "weren't here" at the
office that morning. When she asked, "who would want to bomb a building in
Oklahoma?" he replied that it was in retribution for the massacre at Waco. How
did he know?
"It's clear to me that the ATF knew in advance something was about to
happen," says a man whose wife was seriously injured that morning.
In an attempt to steer suspicious eyes away from ATF culpability, Lester
Martz, regional head of the ATF, put out a press release stating that several
agents — Vernon Buster, Luke Franey, and Alex McCauley — had been
trapped inside the building during the bombing:
ATF's Resident Agent in Charge Alex McCauley was with a DEA agent (David
Schickedanz) in the elevator when the bomb exploded. The elevator dropped in a
free fall from the eighth floor to the third. The two men were trapped in the
smoke-filled elevator. The emergency buttons and the phone were inoperable. On
their fourth attempt they managed to break through the doors and escape from
Yet according to elevator repairman Duane James, who, along with several
co-workers was checking equipment across the street that morning, Martz's
statement is "pure fantasy." James, who was interviewed by J.D. Cash and ABC's
20/20, said five of the building's six elevators had frozen in place when the
blast occurred, their doors blown inward. "Once that occurs, the doors cannot
be opened — period," said James. "What I and some others did was kick in
the ceilings on each of those elevators and determined that no one was in
James claims the remaining elevator was sitting at the third or fourth
floor level and had no one in it. "Certainly it had not 'free fallen,' nor had
any of the others." James explained that modern elevators cannot 'free fall'
due to counterbalancing weights on them which prevent such occurrences. The
elevators are also equipped with automatic safety switches that cut speed and
power if the elevator starts accelerating too fast.
"None of those switches were tripped on any of the elevators in that
building," said James. "I, along with other men with our company, checked the
equipment several times. Absolutely no elevators dropped that morning."
Oscar Johnson, James' boss, told the Daily Oklahoman that when
the elevator was found, a wall was pushed against the top of it "and there is
no way you could have gotten the doors open. Our guys were the first ones there
to open the top emergency access, and there was no one in it."
Federal elevator inspector Dude Goodun told the Daily Oklahoman
that he agreed with Johnson.
So does former ATF agent Rick Sherrow. "This elevator business was
garbage — about Franey being trapped in the elevator — because it
didn't happen" said Sherrow. "Franey I pretty much believe was there, [but]
this free-fall business, it just didn't happen."
Naturally, Martz insisted five ATF employees were inside the Murrah
Building. Valerie Rowden, the office manager, was cut all over. Jim Staggs was
hospitalized with head wounds. Vernon Buster, they claimed, had a nail driven
through his arm, and his name showed up on a list of the injured. But according
to David Hall, owner and manager of KPOC-TV in Ponca City, who checked with
local hospitals, both Buster and Martz are lying.
According to a reporter who interviewed Joe Gordon, an ATF agent from
Colorado Springs, there was at least one ATF agent from out-of-town (believed
to have been Dallas) who was injured in the blast, that the ATF hasn't admitted
to. While Buster's name showed up on the list of the injured, his name
Another reporter from New York developed information that the Dallas ATF
office — Martz's office — was also suspiciously vacant that morning.
Was the ATF running a combined operation out of Dallas and Oklahoma City? This
would make sense, since Martz is the regional director.
DEA Assistant Agent in Charge Don Webb called the allegations against
the ATF "bull-shit." Webb told the author that McCauley and Schickedanz were
indeed in the elevator when the bomb went off. He also said that "Luke Franey
was on the phone" at the time of the bombing (although Webb admitted to me that
he himself was at a golf tournament that morning).
According to Sergeant Yeakey, Franey was not in the building:
Luke Franey was not in the building at the time of the blast, I know
this for a fact, I saw him! I also saw full riot gear worn with rifles in hand,
Yeakey also wrote that Franey ran into the building. While news
footage showed Franey standing in a blown-out window on the 9th floor shortly
after the blast, he appeared surprisingly neat and clean. His appearance
contrasted sharply with other survivors who were covered in dust and debris. In
the photos, Franey is holding a box in one hand, and a walkie-talkie in the
Interestingly, Franey later showed up at Glenn Wilburn's house with a
bandaged arm. Was Franey one of the agents who Dr. Chumley refused to bandage?
According to a federal law-enforcement supervisor who works in the Federal
Protective Services, Franey "was a bloody mess. He had a big gash on his
Whatever the true story, it is generally agreed that the Federal
Building was suspiciously empty that morning. Wendy Greer, the Sister-in-Law of
senior FBI Agent Jim Volz (retired), told me her brother said that the FBI's
offices at 50 Penn Place (several miles from the Murrah Building) also appeared
to be suspiciously vacant that morning.
If these agents weren't in their offices, just where were they? Some FBI
agents, it appeared, were at a Special Olympics golf tournament in Shawnee
(Webb told me he saw no ATF agents at the tournament). Yet this still wouldn't
account for the strange activities on April 19.
In the early morning of April 19, Bob Flanders and his wife were driving
east on I-44 at approximately 3:30 a.m., when they saw a strange team of men
near the State Fairgrounds. The men, dressed in government black and driving
black cars, were in the grass alongside the road, operating "hoops" —
circular-shaped, radio beacon directional finders. Flanders recalled that the
devices were about the size of a car steering wheel, and the men held them over
their heads, slowly rotating them in a circular pattern.
At around 4:00 a.m., a man who was driving home after work saw another
team operating these unusual looking devices, this time by the Alfred P. Murrah
Building. As he approached 5th Street, he was directed to one lane. The person
directing traffic was not a police officer, and was standing next to a white
vehicle with a yellow stripe. As the man drove by, he saw several men on the
sidewalk holding these hoop-like devices above their heads, slowly turning them
in different directions. As the man passed through, a roadblock was set up
behind him, and all traffic was diverted from the area.
The equipment these witnesses are describing matches that of RDF
direction finding antennas that are used to home in on electronic transmitters.
Was there a concealed radio transmitter on the one of the Ryder trucks, sending
out a signal to these teams? It is likely, given the requirements of a
successful sting operation, that they were electronically tracking the Ryder
truck. The location of the team at the fairgrounds, high on a hill overlooking
the city, is a clue to its intended mission.
Yet why were they tracking the truck? Had their quarry eluded them? Is
it possible that one of the bombers, perhaps one of their own trusted
undercover agents, turned off the transmitter, resulting in the loss of the
signal? If so, it seems that the agents would have had what's known in
law-enforcement parlance as a "loose tail," and, it appeared, they were
frantically trying to find the truck.
Andreas Strassmeir, McVeigh's friend and alleged government operative,
admitted that much in an interview with the London Sunday Telegraph's
The truck had a transmitter, so they could track it with a radio
receiving device. I don't know how they could have lost contact. I think there
was misinformation that the operation had been canceled.
According to KPOC's David Hall, the plan was to arrest the bombers at
3:30 in the morning. Given the ATF's past publicity stunts, it is likely that
they were hoping to arrest the suspects at or near the Murrah Building to
ensure a highly publicized bust. As Strassmeir told Evans-Pritchard:
"It's obvious that it was a government 'op' that went wrong, isn't it?
The ATF had something going with McVeigh. They were watching him — of
course they were," he asserted, without qualification. "What they should have
done is make an arrest while the bomb was still being made instead of waiting
till the last moment for a publicity stunt. They had everything they needed to
make the bust, and they screwed it up."
Strassmeir added that the ATF thought that the bomb was set to go off at
2 or 3 a.m., but somehow the plan was changed. "McVeigh made some changes in
the plan," said Strassmeir. "He is a very undisciplined soldier, you know... In
retrospect, the ATF should have made the bust when the bomb was being built in
The bombers, according to the former Elohim City security chief, were to
be captured "during the night, when no one was there — that's why the ATF
had the building staked out from midnight until 6:00 a.m. Later, the informant
believed that the bombing was off for the day and reported that... the ATF lost
control of the situation, and McVeigh and the others were able to bomb the
While Strassmeir heaps most of the blame on the ATF, he does task the
FBI for its failure:
The different agencies weren't cooperating. In fact, they were working
against each other. You even had a situation where one branch of the FBI
was investigating and not sharing anything with another branch of the
FBI.… Whoever thought this thing up is an idiot, in my opinion.
While Strassmeir continually protested that he himself was not involved
in the plot, as either a suspect or a provocateur, he did say that the plotters
consisted of "four [men], plus the informant and McVeigh."
"They probably were going to entrap whoever was coming in," said
Sherrow. "They had enough intelligence that they were going to set up an
operation to pop this guy, whether it was McVeigh or whoever else, and
something fell through the cracks.…
"Talking from the perspective of a former ATF man, say they're going to
buy explosives, or let somebody plant a bomb… they will let the deal go
until the last second, before making the arrest."
Somehow, the deal went wrong.
While this startling evidence would soon make itself known to
investigators, bombing victims, and a limited segment of the public — the
"Justice" Department, federal prosecutors, and the ATF all rushed to refute the
"Can you imagine if we had known that… and let that happen?" said
ATF agent Harry Eberhardt. "I had a lot of friends in that building — a
lot of friends.… We never would have let that happen."
Dewy Webb, the current ATF RAC, concurred. "They had so many friends
they lost in the bombing — they had to pick which funeral they could go
Athough Eberhardt's reasoning sounds valid, it is likely his concern is
overrated. While it is doubtful the ATF, FBI, or local officials would
purposefully allow such a catastrophic event to occur, it is likely —
highly probable in fact — that through their stupidity and negligence,
such an event did occur.
Said Sherrow, "I've got agents in their court testimony saying that they
don't care about the public's safety. They don't consider it. They arranged to
meet with a guy here in Phoenix who allegedly had hundreds of pounds of
explosives, and they chose a crowded shopping center parking lot, running
around with MP-5 [sub-machineguns] and handguns and everything else.
"This happened before Oklahoma, and it continues to happen. We had a
case in Pennsylvania where a guy wanted to sell a small amount of explosives.
He wanted to meet [the agents] way out in the country. Instead they decided to
meet him on an Interstate rest stop that was jammed with people, and brought
the media. They endanger the public right and left and they don't care about
Sherrow's analysis is based on more than historical precedent and
informed opinion. While ATF agents refused to admit their involvement in the
bungled operation, Martz met with local TV producers behind closed doors
shortly after the bombing. His intent was to convince the journalists that what
was underway was a sensitive undercover operation, and that they should take
pains not to reveal it.
This is most interesting considering that ATF agent Angela
Finley-Graham's report of August 30 stated that their investigation of Elohim
City was classified as "SENSITIVE" and "SIGNIFICANT" (as opposed to routine),
and the investigation concerned "terrorist/extremist" organizations.
According to former ATF official Robert Sanders, such classifications
mean that all reports would automatically be sent to Washington, as well as
being routinely routed to Martz at the Dallas Field Office, which in fact, it
Sanders, who held every possible supervisory position including that of
ATF Assistant Director, told The New Americanmagazine that the
activities cited in the ATF reports have "such a high potential for affecting
national security" that they would have most likely been sent to the heads of
the Treasury and Justice Departments as well as the White House and National
As if finally stating the obvious, Martz admitted to the incredulous
reporters was that there was indeed a sting operation underway on the night of
the 18th that was called off at 0600 hours (6:00 a.m.). When reporters asked
Martz if the operation involved Timothy McVeigh, he replied "I can neither
confirm or deny that."
David Hall attended the closed-door meeting with Martz. "I don't believe
that the ATF wired the building and blew it up. I do believe that they
knew that there was going to be a possible bomb threat to the building, because
they had set it up themselves, with their informants and different people they
were working with. And somebody really slipped it to 'em."
Hall had also been long-time friends with Harry Eberhardt, and was one
of the first to develop inside information regarding the ATF's activities that
morning. While Martz held fast to his claim that three ATF agents were in the
Murrah Building at the time of the blast, Hall insists, "that's an outright
The seasoned investigative journalist contends that at least eight of
the ATF's regular compliment of 13 agents were on assignment away from the
Federal Building that morning. "Three agents (Don Gillispie, Delbert Canopp and
Tim Kelly) were in federal court in Newkirk, on an arson case that occurred in
Ponca City…. Two agents (Karen Simpson and Harry Eberhardt) were in
federal court in Oklahoma City. Three more were in Garfield County at a
hearing. The other five were out on surveillance."
Just who were they surveilling?
"As far as can be determined," said Sherrow, "they had an undercover
sting operation. They had a sting operation going that night, with about six
agents involved, and they terminated it at six in the morning. Martz has
admitted to this, then since backed off.… given the circumstances, it's
reasonable to assume that the person they were surveilling was McVeigh."
Hall concurs. "We developed from our sources inside the ATF that five
agents were up on surveillance all night long. We have to assume at that point,
basically probably surveilling either McVeigh — and let me say this about
McVeigh — there's a good chance that McVeigh could be the informant in
According to Glenn Wilburn, the ATF's plans changed at the last minute,
and they stood down at 6:30 a.m. Then the Bomb Squad came on the scene at 6:30,
checked the building for bombs, then stood down at 8:30. When the building blew
up at 9:02 a.m., all the agents and police, who were already on the scene or
nearby, quickly responded.
Yet it appears there is more to the story. Hall claims that on the night
before the bombing, several witnesses saw McVeigh meet with ATF agent Alex
McCauley and two other individuals of Middle Eastern descent in an Oklahoma
City McDonalds at approximately 9:30 p.m. "He was a known ATF agent," said
Hall. "[And] money changed hands."
Could this money have been the $2,000 that was discovered on McVeigh at
the time of his arrest?
Terry Nichols was interviewed by Hall early on, and was told that
McVeigh had met with "men" who had provided him with a $2,000 pay-off. Nichols
left the restaurant at approximately 9:45 p.m. and drove back to his home in
Herrington, Kansas. Hall interviewed Nichols' neighbors who claimed he arrived
early that morning.
Another witness, an unidentified homeless man, contacted KTOK reporter
Jerry Bonnen, and told him McVeigh drove past the McDonalds and yelled "Hey,
want to have a few beers?" McVeigh then gave the man some cash, whereupon he
purchased two quarts at the Total convenience store across the street. A Total
employee, Ron Williams, reported that a Ryder truck was parked at the
An anonymous informant who contacted Representative Key, claiming to be
a friend of the brother one of those involved in the bombing, said that McVeigh
had indeed met federal agents at an unnamed restaurant in Oklahoma City, and
had rendezvoused with at least four of them prior to the bombing. Key taped the
"This guy here, he has a recording — a video recording — a
camcorder recording that shows this same DEA agent and… McVeigh in the
parking lot of a restaurant. And this is was shot about dusk. And two people in
suits go over to the car, McVeigh and this DEA agent get out and they're
standing back by the trunk. And the DEA agent's patting McVeigh on the
shoulder, and then one of the two men in suits passes McVeigh a white envelope
and then they leave, And he has this on tape."
While Representative Key never did get the videotape, another source
close to the investigation told him that McVeigh was indeed an informant.
What he didn't explain was the reason for the presence of the DEA.
KFOR's Brad Edwards developed similar information," said Hall, "from
totally different sources. "So we have four different sources telling us this.
He also has the same name of the agent (McCauley). "I think that when this is
all said and done, that we're going to find out — and this is what I've
said from the beginning — that this was a sting operation gone sour."
But do you really need two tons of explosive in order to set up a sting?
Yes, according to Hall. Ammonium-nitrate isn't illegal in Oklahoma, and a few
hundred pounds won't convince prosecutors there was a serious bomb threat in
the works. "I think the intent there was to show that it was going to do some
damage, rather than, you know, a pipe bomb. It wouldn't bring the intention
here in Oklahoma."
Strassmeir agrees. "I am told they thought it would be better to put a
bigger bomb in there. The bigger the better. It would make them more
While Martz would not confirm who the actual target of the sting was,
one person who did confirm it was a man who spoke with bombing survivor and
activist Ramona McDonald. McDonald had formed a group called Heroes of the
Heart. Through her numerous meetings with paramedics and police, firefighters
and even some federal agents, McDonald began learning the sickening truth about
what really happened that day.
As the meetings wore on, a consensus was reached that the truth needed
to be told. The question was how. As McVeigh's trial approached, McDonald and
her group were gearing up for a trial of their own. McDonald had contacted
former Pentagon counter-terrorism analyst Jesse Clear, and Clear had contacted
a young fire-brand attorney named Joseph Camerata. Camerata's intent was to
gather together survivors and family members, and bring a negligence suit
against the Federal Government.
In August of 1996, about a month before Camerata came to Oklahoma to
interview his prospective clients, McDonald received a mysterious phone call.
Although the caller didn't identify himself by name, McDonald thought she
recognized the voice of as that of Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK). The
caller was concerned. "What do we have to do to get you to drop this?" he asked
Although he didn't realize it, McDonald was taping the conversation. The
scenario the caller lays out is, to the uninitiated, both startling and
frightening. He describes in almost precise detail how the operation was a
sting gone bad; how federal agents allowed a truck with a powerful bomb to be
driven through a crowded city and parked next to a building containing hundreds
of people. And, revealing the mystery of the elusive John Doe 2, he explains
how he was an undercover agent, supposed to diffuse the bomb at the last
minute… and failed to do so.
Caller: "I don't think they expected the truck to blow up. I
believe, and I've believed this for a long time… I believe that number two
— John Doe #2 — was a federal agent working undercover. And I believe
that he helped McVeigh steal the goods and helped buy the equipment, and I
believe that he helped McVeigh make the bomb, and I believe that his whole task
in this whole thing… his only real task was to render the device safe so
that the federal agents could pretend to remove it and move in. They did not
want to move in until he was cleared of the scene so that they wouldn't tip
their hands. See what I'm saying? And the odds are pretty good that whole
reason behind this is because they were after someone bigger than McVeigh,
which means they probably think he was linked to somebody in the Militia
movement or something like that.
"So I think what you're saying… you know I understand what you're
saying… but I don't think you see the big picture. I don't think that ,
you know, I'd only divulge a look at the big picture if that's the actual
scenario. If that's the actual scenario, which I believe it to be, I think
there really is no claim that the agent, that was John Doe #2, did not render
the bomb safe. Which he very well may have rendered the bomb safe, and then
McVeigh may have put in a second fail-safe which he didn't know about. Which is
probably what's happened.…
"I would bet money on that's, in fact, the way this whole thing came
down. Yes, they stood out in front of the building. Yes, they followed him
directly to the building. Yes, they watched him get out of the building…
get out of the truck. Yes, they watched him drive off. That's not … that
was their plan. I don't believe they ever planned to apprehend him
anywhere near the building. I believe that John Doe #2 was a federal witness.
His job was to render the device safe. Therefore, the only thing sitting out in
front of that building was a bomb… a truck loaded with a bomb that would
not go off. And I think that's the situation. In fact I know it is."
McDonald: "Okay… so… so why didn't they just come out
and explain that to everybody?"
Caller: "The public doesn't have to know that. When it comes to
the national security and things like this, the public does not have to
know… the public is not required to know. First of all, by doing that,
they would've, uh, put their witness, which is the federal agent John Doe #2,
they would have blown his cover, first of all. Which possibly he's involved in
something right now that you have no idea about. You know, there very well may
have been numerous plots involving numerous buildings. See what I'm saying? You
don't have the whole picture… without full knowledge… what you may do
may cost them their lives. You should be very aware of that."
McDonald: "Okay. Well, that's what I've been trying to be very
careful of. I don't want to see anyone else get hurt. At the same
Caller: "…Well, if that guy's cover's been blown, he'd dead
McDonald: "Do you think so?"
Caller: "Sure… I'm sure. Once you have gone up to this
point, it has gotten out, which I'm sure it has, because there are moles
everywhere… the chances are good that he's been terminated already and
this whole thing has blown up in their face. I don't believe that, out of an
act of negligence, these highly trained professionals would have allowed that
man to leave that truck out in front of that building with its live bomb in
McDonald: No, no, no. It stood out there for the whole time, from
the time it pulled up until it went off."
Caller: "That's what I'm saying. They would not have allowed it.
The only reason they allowed the truck to sit there so long, is because in my
opinion they were under the impression that that bomb was rendered safe. And
I'd say that there was no rush… there was no reason… to evacuate the
building. There was no rush to make an arrest. The truck was just going to sit
out there until they went and towed it off. So I don't think they thought it
was an emergency and I think either that John Doe #2 made a mistake in
rendering the bomb safe, or McVeigh was smart enough to plant a second
fail-safe. Which most bomb makers do."
McDonald: "Do you think that's why they didn't tell
Caller: "No. The bomb was safe as far as they knew."
McDonald: "Okay. Well, that explains why there was so many of
them (federal agents) there so fast."
Caller: "Exactly. They followed him to the building, their agent
was in the truck with him when they followed him to the building, everything
was under control, as far as they thought, all they had was the man who built
the bomb that was not going to go off, because their agent had rendered it
safe. And their whole thing was not a problem. Let him drive his truck right in
front of his target, then they allowed him to drive off.
"Once he drives off, he renders the truck safe, and then we can have the
trooper arrest him on the interstate for bogus charges. Which they did, and
this was all planned out 100 percent. I… I… I don't believe they
allowed that truck…"
McDonald: "You don't think they intentionally let the bomb go
Caller: "No, that's right. I'll never believe that."
McDonald: "Well, I mean, that's the only thing about this that I
found so hard to believe."
Caller: "They… they thought the bomb was safe. They thought
that their agent, who was in the truck and who helped prepare the bomb, would
set it so it would not go off. Now, whether McVeigh went back to the
truck… where the agent did not know… and put a second fail-safe…
or the agent made a mistake and did not actually render the bomb safe like he
was supposed to… that's what's going on here."
McDonald: "Well, see, that's it then. I wanted someone that would
be able to tell us for a fact if this was, like, deliberate or not. You know
what I'm saying?"
Caller: "I'm not gong to tell you that. Let me tell you
something. I'm sure they had… everything was under surveillance there. So
I'm sure they do have pictures of the building blowing up, and I'm sure
they do have pictures of federal agents, and I'm sure they do
have audio tapes of them saying: Let 'em go, let 'em go… Wait, wait,
wait…" there was no rush in their mind. In their mind, there was no rush
to get that truck away from that building… that bomb… was not
supposed to go off.
"Therefore, everything they did, fits, if you think about it. they
followed it, they allowed it to drive up there knowing that there was a bomb in
the truck. Their idea was to let John Doe #2 — their federal agent —
they would be able to use him in further investigations of these bombings of
these groups that are in militia groups. And this was a perfect entry in,
because he could have went through there.
"After McVeigh was arrested, John Doe #2 would have become a hero to the
cause of the militias. And the militias would have taken him in and hid him,
which would have made him part of the infrastructure of the militias. Which is
what their goal was for this whole thing… was to bust the militias. If you
take the big picture, and look at the big picture, there were very few
mistakes made on this sting operation. (except blowing up a building and
killing 169 people - ed.) With the exception that John Doe #2, the federal
agent, did not render the bomb safe. Just think of it this way, Ramona."
McDonald: "I've always been a big fan of the United States and
that, but then… I've always been… this was the one thing that
Caller: "They didn't let the building fall intentionally. Their
opinion was that this bomb was rendered safe and this bomb would not go off.
And their whole thing on this thing… if you think about it… it makes
sense from a tactical standpoint. You would follow the truck to the building.
You allow your lead suspect to get away from the building because it didn't
blow up, because it's not supposed to. You take John Doe #2… he gets away,
which is your federal agent. John Doe #1 — McVeigh — is arrested on a
bogus charge and then later proven that he's the one who planted the bomb that
did not go off."
McDonald: "But you honestly don't think that they really
Caller: "Not at all. Not at all. They would not have to.
No.… Basically, what happened is, this was a mistake. Someone screwed up
and the only one that screwed up… The agents on the scene? They didn't
screw up. They did exactly what their orders were: Wait… allow the suspect
to leave the scene. Once the suspect had left the scene, then render the truck
safe, which is already safe. All they have to do is get in, give it a hot-wire,
and drive it off to a safe location and then open up the back and disarm the
bomb. Which was supposedly rendered safe to begin with. Okay?
"And then, from there… they charge in… See, the plan…
this plan was put in motion before the bomb ever went off. Their intent was to
allow McVeigh to be arrested later on… John Doe#2 to get away… and
then, John Doe #2, the Federal Government would have released a sketch or
picture. And then, that man would have had to go underground and hide. Where
would he hide? He would have hid with the militias. The militias would take him
in as a hero. The militias would give him hero status in the Militia movement,
which would allow him to be privy to information that the government could use
"…they did not want that building to blow up. I guarantee you
this… their whole intent was that that bomb was rendered safe before it
was ever parked in front of that building… otherwise, they would have
McDonald: "…Got everybody out of the building?"
Caller: "Got everybody out of the building, before the bomb ever
even pulled up in front of the building. There was no reason for them to do
that, because according to their plan, the bomb was safe now. There was no
reason to evacuate the building and the panic… because there was a truck
loaded with a bomb that was not going to blow up.…"
Caller: "See what I'm saying? And John Doe#2.… By going
this far with it… Let me explain something to you. Your actions have
consequences. There are a lot of witnesses. There are a lot of agents right now
in the hills that are infiltrating these militia groups, and… all these
people will get killed. Their blood will be on your hands. I understand that
you want… If I really thought that the government allowed the building to
blow up, I would be with you 100 percent. But I know… and I believe…
they were horrified when the bomb went off… really horrified."
McDonald: "Yeah, they all looked like they were in shock."
Caller: "They figured, as soon as McVeigh got free, as soon as he
got… drove off in his car… and I'll tell you something they did. Do
you what they did?"
Caller: "They stole his license plate off that car. You know why?
So they'd have probable cause to stop him on the interstate.… They stole
his plate. Why do you think the plate was never found? His plate was stolen
from the vehicle and the Federal Government stole the plate from the vehicle,
so that he would be arrested… John Doe #2 would go free, they would put a
sketch out that would make him 'America's Most Wanted.' The only place that a
man that would be wanted by the government can hide would be to be hid by the
militia groups inside their infrastructure.
"But once he infiltrates the infrastructure… and he's in… all
of a sudden he's a hero. And right now, you know, these groups probably believe
that they have John Doe #2 and that they're hiding him from the government and
they're doing the patriotic thing… and they believe that the building
should have blown up. So they're holding him. Now, this man's privy to all
kinds of information about future bombings, which we don't even know how many
bombs they have stopped because the agents… how many lives have
been saved because that agent's now in the militia. And if this comes to
light… this operation…"
What the caller does is attempt to instill guilt in McDonald over her
efforts to reveal the truth. Yet McDonald did not allow 169 innocent people to
be killed through her negligence and stupidity. The government did.
This ridiculous and immoral rationale is similar to that used by Winston
Churchill during WWII. Churchill knew the German Luftwaffe were going to bomb
the city of Coventry, because the British had cracked the German code using a
device called the "Enigma" machine. Churchill feared that by evacuating
Coventry on the night in question, the Germans would realize their codes had
been broken and change them, thus hampering British intelligence efforts.
Churchill, having knowledge of the forthcoming raid, let it proceed, at the
cost of thousands of lives and millions in property damage, in order not to
compromise their source — in this case — the Enigma machine.
In a similar vein, the Feds would cover up the truth of the Oklahoma
City bombing so as not to compromise their undercover agent — John Doe 2
— and ultimately, reveal their own negligence.
Nevertheless, McDonald's caller makes the case that she should respect
these agents, who he terms "highly trained professionals," conducting an
operation that has already resulted in the criminally negligent deaths of 169
people, and allow it to continue unabated, when it was undoubtedly government
agents who acted as provocateurs and goaded the suspects into carrying out the
bombing in the first place!
Of course, these "highly trained, dedicated professionals" he talks so
admiringly about are the same "highly trained, dedicated professionals" who
murdered 86 innocent men, women and children at Waco; who practically murdered
an entire innocent family at Ruby Ridge; who dropped a bomb on the MOVE housing
activists in Philadelphia, killing 11 people, including five children; and who
bungled the World Trade Center sting operation, resulting in the deaths of six
people and the injury of over 1,000.
What nitwit is supposed to buy the story that "highly trained, dedicated
professionals" would drive a truck laden with explosives around a busy city
— a bomb that could explode at any minute? More likely, the caller is
using the "federal agent in danger" line with McDonald as a ruse to cover up
the fact that these "highly trained, dedicated professionals" are nothing more
than a bunch of highly dangerous, out-of-control, self-serving lunatics.
"The government must, and I say must, take responsibility for their
sting operation going sour," said HUD worker Jane Graham.… "We are not
expendable for their cause.…"
As of this writing, the tape is being analyzed by an audio forensics
expert. Those Oklahomans who have listened to the tape, however, strongly
believe that it is Representative Ernest Istook. Istook sits on the
Subcommittee on National Security, which would tend to explain his rationale
that "the public doesn't have to know.… When it comes to the national
security and things like this, the public does not have to know.…"
Istook also voted for the 1995 Crime and Anti-Terrorism bills, and is
reportedly very friendly with Senator Orin Hatch, one of the original drafters
of the latter. Istook is also on close terms with the FBI, which would go a
long way towards explaining his apologetic tone. He lives in the same
Congressional district and neighborhood (Warr Acres) as McDonald.
This scenario is also reinforced by a second individual — a police
officer named Bob Cancemi. He told McDonald he knows "for a fact" that
authorities knew in advance specifically when and how the Ryder truck-bomb was
to arrive at the Federal Building. But, he says, something went "very wrong;"
the bomb was supposed to have been disarmed. "I feel pretty confident that they
knew exactly what was going on," he said, "and just… things didn't go
according to plan."
Cancemi's information, and that of McDonald's caller, is backed up by
Daina Bradley. Peering out the window of the Social Security office minutes
before the blast, Bradley caught a glimpse of a stocky, dark-skinned man
exiting the passenger side of the Ryder truck. She said the man walked to the
back of the truck to open the door, then spun around, looking "very nervous,
almost confused." He then ran down 5th Street in the opposite direction and
jumped into a brown pick-up which sped away. Could the man's confused
expression have been the result of an unexpected occurrence? Perhaps when he
lifted the rear gate he saw a second timing device attached to the bomb that he
didn't know how to disarm? And not knowing what to do, he fled.
Yet while the caller admits the government's involvement in the bombing,
he fails to take into account the additional bombs placed inside the
building. He fails to explain why the government quickly demolished the bomb
site, destroying all forensic evidence. And his story does not account for the
Middle Eastern and numerous other suspects.
The caller's explanation also goes a long way towards explaining a
statement made by Terry Nichols after his arrest. When Lana Padilla asked her
ex-husband during a prison visit about John Doe 2, he said, "If they want to
find John Doe 2, they should look in their own backyard."
What is clear is that the government could take no chances in allowing
any of their undercover operatives and informants — Strassmeir, Brescia,
Howe, Gagan, Hussaini, and others — to testify at trial. To cover their
butts, federal law enforcement agencies ignored, discredited, and even killed
those who attempted to reveal the truth. As Officer Terrance Yeakey wrote
before he was murdered:
I took an oath to uphold the Law and to enforce the Law to the best of
my ability. This is something I cannot honestly do and hold my head up proud
any longer if I keep my silence as I am ordered to do.
My guess is the more time an officer has to think about the screw up the
more he is going to question what happened… Can you imagine what would be
coming down now if that had been our officers' who had let this happen? Because
it was the feds that did this and not the locals, is the reason it's okay.
The sad truth of the matter is that they have so many police officers
convinced that by covering up the truth about the operation gone wrong, that
they are actually doing our citizens a favor. What I want to know is how many
other operations have they had that blew up in their faces? Makes you stop and
take another look at Waco.
I would consider it to be an insult to my profession as a police officer
and to the citizens of Oklahoma for ANY of the City, State or Federal agents
that stood by and let this happen to be recognized as any thing other than
their part in participation in letting this happen.…
Finally, while those who said the bombing was an excuse to destroy the
Militia movement were dismissed as self-deluded paranoiacs, McDonald's caller
admits the entire operation was to ensnare the Militia movement! Of
course, McDonald's caller makes no distinction between militias and neo-Nazi
groups. militia groups angrily denounced the bombing, as any self-respecting
citizen would, and certainly no militia member would consider a person who
killed 169 innocent people a hero.
If the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building was merely a failed
sting operation, where did it go wrong? Those who remember the World Trade
Center bombing, may recall that it, too, was a fouled sting operation.
In that case, the FBI's original plan to entrap the Al-Gama'a
al-Islamiya group was to have their undercover operative, Emad Eli Salem,
substitute a harmless powder for the real explosive, which he would help them
build. Instead, due to a "disagreement," the FBI pulled Salem off the case.
Like Cary Gagan, who tried to warn the FBI of the Oklahoma City bombing,
and Samra Mahayoun, who tried to warn officials of the Pan Am 103 attack,
Salem, they insisted, was just not credible. Several weeks later, a truck-bomb
detonated under the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring 1,000
Unbeknownst to the FBI, Salem, a former Egyptian Army colonel, had
secretly recorded his conversations with his FBI handlers. Portions of the tapes were made
public and reprinted in the Wall Street Journal and the New York
Times.. In broken English, Salem talks with the unnamed FBI supervisor who
pulled him off the case:
"We'll be going building the bomb with a phony powder, and grabbing the
people who was involved in it. But since you, we didn't do that."
When Salem decided to complain to FBI headquarters, FBI supervisor John
Anticev dissuaded him: "He said, I don't think that the New York people would
like the things out of the New York Office to go to Washington, D.C."
Salem's immediate handler, agent Nancy Floyd, is heard on the tapes
agreeing with the Egyptian's account, saying, "Well, of course not, because
they don't want to get their butts chewed."
In one conversation, Salem tells Floyd:
"Since the bomb went off, I feel terrible. I feel bad. I feel here is
people who don't listen."
Ms. Floyd seems to commiserate, saying: "Hey, I mean it wasn't like you
didn't try, and I didn't try."
…Salem recounts another point in the conversation he said he had
with Anticev, saying:
"I said, 'Guys, now you saw this bomb went off, and you both know that
we could avoid that.'"
…Salem talks of the plan to substitute harmless powder for
explosives during another conversation with Agent Floyd. In that conversation,
he recalls a previous discussion with Anticev. Mr. Salem says he told the other
"Do you deny that your supervisor is the main reason of bombing the
World Trade Center?"
Mr. Salem said that Anticev did not deny it.
What is also interesting to note is that not only did the FBI "foul up"
the operation, but they had Salem act as a provocateur, recommending potential
targets, teaching the terrorists how to build the bomb, then teaching them how
to drive the truck used in the bombing!
As the Wall Street Journal reported in regards to Salem's
activities inside the Sheik's group immediately following the World Trade
Mr. Salem helped organize the "battle plan" that the government alleged
included plots to bomb the United Nations and FBI buildings in New York, and
the Holland and Lincoln tunnels beneath the Hudson River. Working with a
charismatic Sudanese man named Siddig Ali, a follower of Sheik Omar, Mr. Salem
recruited seven local Muslims to scout targets, plan tactics and obtain
chemicals and electrical parts for bombs, the government alleged. The FBI
supplied a safehouse in Queens.
As Floyd later explained to her superior, "Emad had the information
about the bombs and where they wanted to have them placed. If we had done what
we were supposed to have done, we would have known about it… we would have
used our heads and come up with the solution of trying to neutralize the
When these "highly-trained, dedicated professionals" pulled Salem off
the case, the bombers contacted Ramzi Yousef, an Iraqi agent and expert bomb
maker. Mujahadeen veteran and World Trade Center bomber Mamud Abouhalima met
Yousef in Afghanistan in 1988, and brought him and co-conspirator Ahmed Ajaj to
the U.S. in September of 1992. Far from building a harmless device, Yousef
constructed a sophisticated, powerful bomb, capable of causing extensive
damage. Had patsy driver Mohammed Salemeh parked the truck next to a key
column, they might have toppled the 110 story Twin Towers, killing as many as
As William Norman Grigg writes in the February 19, 1997 issue of the
Shortly after Yousef's arrival, the FBI subpoenaed two dozen of Sheik
Omar's followers and questioned them about the sheik, Nosair, and Abouhalima.
However, no arrests were made, no grand jury investigation was launched, and
the FBI chose to downgrade its scrutiny of Omar's network — just as plans
were being finalized for the Trade Center bombing. This curious decision is
even more peculiar in light of the fact that the FBI had obtained intelligence
on the network's capabilities and intentions from Emad A. Salem, a former
Egyptian Army officer and FBI informant who served as Omar's security
The FBI defended themselves by alleging that Salem had refused to
cooperate with FBI guidelines and procedures. He didn't want to wear a
body-wire they claimed, and refused to testify against his so-called terrorist
comrades in court. Salem was summarily dismissed. When these "highly-trained,
dedicated professionals" pulled Salem off the case, they lost control of the
situation, and the bombers made their move.
The FBI claimed the exact same thing about one of their informants in
the Oklahoma City bombing case — Cary Gagan. Although the Justice
Department granted Gagan a Letter of Immunity, they and the "highly-trained,
dedicated professionals" of the FBI failed to follow up on the informant's
apparently credible information. Gagan hadn't just contacted the FBI and the
Marshals Service once or twice regarding the plot, but had informed them on
numerous occasions of the terrorists' plans. To the Gagan's knowledge, none of
this information was followed up.
After the bombing, the Justice Department tried to maintain that Gagan
wasn't credible. The U.S. Attorney's Office revoked his Letter of Immunity,
ignored his information, and apparently tried to assassinate him. In order to
prove their bogus allegations, they removed reports from his informant file
that showed Gagan had assisted the DEA in recovering critical information.
The government's conduct in dealing with Gagan paralleled their
treatment of Carol Howe. As discussed previously, Tulsa ATF Agent Angela
Finley-Graham had placed Howe inside Elohim City, where she reported on the
activities of Mahon, Strassmeir, and others allegedly involved in the plot. It
was recently learned that Howe had secretly taped conversations with her ATF
handler as Salem had. Those tapes have not been made public as of this
Still, the government would try to cover its tracks by claiming that
Howe's information was unspecific, and that she was emotionally unstable. Yet
two days after the bombing, the ATF renewed its contract with her, and sent her
back to Elohim City to collect additional information. In the aftermath of the
World Trade Center bombing, the FBI renewed its association with Emad Salem,
paying him a reported $1 million to infiltrate Sheik Omar's group once again.
Given the Tulsa ATF's interest in Strassmeir and Elohim City, it is
highly likely that they were the initial target of the sting. ATF agent Angela
Finley -Graham conferred with her superiors about raiding the compound in
February of '95 and arresting Strassmeir, but FBI and DoJ officials advised
The ATF's actions at Elohim City were a curious parallel to those of the
FBI's in New York. As the London Sunday Telegraph's Ambrose
Evans-Pritchard stated, "It appears that the local BATF had stumbled on a
bigger operation being run by the grown-ups at the Justice Department."
If the Arabs had plotted with neo-Nazis to blow up the Federal Building.
It is a foregone conclusion that they were under surveillance by the ATF and
Recall that Timothy McVeigh and Sam Khalid were both investigated by the
FBI. McVeigh in 1993, and Khalid in 1990. Since Mike Khalid was investigated
for espionage by Army CID, it is reasonable to assume that attention was
focused on his brother as well.
Said David Hall, "I felt like… that probably the agencies involved
in this, their intent was to tie together some Patriot groups and to tie in
some other terrorist groups. I think the intent here was to say — go to
Congress and say — that we have domestic and foreign terrorist groups,
Mideast or foreign, working together and trying to blow up buildings here in
the United States."
It is likely that the FBI became aware of collusion between the two
groups — neo-Nazis and Arabs — as early as 1994, when Cary Gagan
reported that Terry Nichols had met with "Iranians" in Henderson, Nevada. With
the involvement of the Arabs, and the white supremacists at Elohim City, the
sting became a joint ATF/FBI operation.
Interestingly, Hall learned that the FBI and the ATF got into a shouting
match while debriefing Janet Reno. According to Hall, when Reno left the room,
the FBI and ATF began yelling at each other, angrily accusing each other for
Somewhere along the line in Oklahoma City, the FBI and ATF lost control
of the situation, and the bombers were able to make their move. As in the World
Trade Center case, someone who had infiltrated the operation in Oklahoma had
substituted a real bomb for a phony one, or had placed a redundant timer on the
bomb, or had simply provided false information to the agents in charge,
preventing them from stopping the attack.
Were the FBI and ATF double-crossed by one of their own informants? Or,
as in the Pan Am case, did someone in a position of authority look at the
situation and say, "Don't stop it, let it go"?
If the FBI and ATF were double-crossed, it may have been by one of their
own agents. Recall that Michael Franks, a rogue American agent with connections
to the Octopus, had provided the key information that allowed Ahmed Jibril to
target Pan Am 103.
Former FBI SAC Ted Gundersen (head of the Los Angeles field office)
described to me what he called a "unilateral transfer" of CIA agents into
various federal law-enforcement agencies in the early 1980s. The purpose of
this Reagan/Bush covert policy was to permit the CIA to head off any
inconvenient investigations that such agencies might be undertaking. If so, it
would go a long way towards explaining the FBI's curiously timed fit of
There are precedents. In 1971, Louis Tackwood, an agent provocateur
working out of the LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section (CCS), charged that the
CCS "had been set up on the same basis as the CIA." Tackwood disclosed that CCS
agents — approximately 125 of whom were agent provocateurs — were
sponsored by federal intelligence agencies. As researcher Alex Constantine
notes in his book, Blood, Carnage, and the Agent Provocateur, the CSS
was directly linked to the Washington, D.C.-based Inter-Agency Group on
Domestic Intelligence and Internal Security, a little-known covert operations
unit made up of Right-wing agents from the FBI, CIA, DIA, NSC, Army, Air Force,
and local police departments.
The CCS's spying activities came to a head in 1973 with the publication
of Tackwood's The Glass House Tapes, and the unit was summarily
disbanded. In its place evolved the Organized Crime Intelligence Division
(OCID), which, interestingly enough, maintains no files on organized crime, but
plenty on local citizens and politicians.
The OCID also still maintains its ties with the federal intelligence
apparatus. According to Pasadena City Council member Michael Zinzin, who won a
$3.8 million dollar lawsuit against the LAPD's Anti-Terrorist Division, that
apparatus is the same secret cabal involved in the Iran-Contra imbroglio.
In other words, the Octopus.
Mike Rothmiller, a former OCID detective, stumbled upon the connections
and subsequently fell prey to an assassin's bullet. At the time, Rothmiller had
been investigating one Robert Terry, an arms and drug smuggler with links to
Gundersen's "unilateral transfer" could easily explain how intelligence
operatives were able to manipulate the sting operation in Oklahoma City. If
there were duplicitous agents inside the ATF and FBI, they would have known
when and where the bomb was to be delivered. They would have known how [one of]
the FBI's undercover agent(s) — John Doe 2 — was to disable the bomb.
They would have had full and detailed knowledge of the plot.
Like Michael Franks, they could have easily informed those who had an
interest in changing that plot — those who had an interest in seeing that
the building, and possibly some of those inside it — was destroyed.