October 06, 2005

Islamic Terrorism in Oklahoma Likely

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CRITICAL UPDATE 10/07: See Indictment forthcoming in Oklahoma bombing case or scroll to end of post for update.

As more details become public about suicide bomber Joel Henry Hinrichs III, who blew himself up outside of a University of Oklahoma football game last Saturday, more and more evidence suggests that he may actually have been part of a larger plot.

Earlier reports indicated that Hinrichs had Islamic jihad material in his apartment that referenced bomb-making manuals. We downplayed that fact as not really evidence of a wider plot. After all, if you want to blow yourself up why not consult with the experts--Islamic terrorists?

But other facts have come to light which raise suspicions.

For an excellent map outlining the scene of the crime and Hinrichs' proximity to these places, please see this post at Zombietime. Other good roundups of the facts can be found at Gateway Pundit, The Politburo Diktat Michelle Malkin, and many many others.

1) Hinrichs seems to have converted to Islam and attended a nearby Islamic center. (see map at Zombietime) However, the president of the University of Oklahoma Muslim Studeant Association denies that Hinrichs was a Muslim. Other witnesses, though, claim Hinrichs was a frequent visitor to the mosque.

2) It appears that the Islamic center is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and which has been investigated for funding terrorism by Congress.

3) The ISNA linked mosque may have been the same one attended by Zacharias MOUSSAOUI. Much more on the Zacharias MOUSSAOUI link at Cao's blog.

4) Hinrichs' roomate, Fazal M. Cheema, was a Pakistani national and neighbors claim the apartment was a center of activity for Middle Easterners. He is described as a 'really nice guy' by his friends. Unfortunately, all terrorists are described this way by their friends. NEIN now reports that Cheema and his associates may have been on the FBI's terror watch list.

5) Hinrichs attempted to buy a large amount of ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in large explosives such as the first World Trade Center bombings or the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing.

6) Hinrichs was later known to the FBI because of his attempted purchase.

7) Evidence at the scene of the bombing suggests that shrapenel was part of the bomb. This is a strong indication that Hinrichs planned to kill more than himself.

8) Witnesses now report Hinrich may have attempted to enter the OU football game, but that he fled when security attempted to check his backpack

9) Northeast Intelligence Network, who's earlier reports we had dismissed because of that website's long track record of alarmism but who are increasingly looking like they got this one right, claims a source is telling them:

It appears that HINRICHS was part of a larger plan that included members of an Islamic terrorist cell based in and around the Norman and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma area. As a Caucasian, it was much easier for him to obtain the materials needed to create a large bomb, act in concert with members of the local terrorist cell, and strike when relative calm was the word of the day.
All of this evidence suggests that there may have been a wider plot by Islamic terrorists to use Joel Henry Hinrichs III as a suicide bomber in exactly the same way as terrorists use suicide bombers around the world: to kill civilians. Hinrichs, like so many other suicide bombers, failed in his attempt and killed only himself.

A word of caution is necessary here. It is definitely possible that Hinrichs did act alone and was just a sad nut with a death wish. Some of the facts presented above could turn out to be untrue, and even if true could be interpreted in a number of ways. We'll just have to wait and see. But, as of this writing I am inclined to believe that Hinrichs was part of a larger plot.

UPDATE: Where is MSM on this? Point Five has the answer.

UPDATE II: Thank you John at Powerline for the link.

UPDATE III: Michelle Malkin has a newer roundup here. And Classical Values is following the story closely with what I think is the appropriate amount of skepticism.

UPDATE 12:33 P.M: Due to a comment and trackback spam problem unrelated to this specific post, these two features may be temporarily disabled throughout the day. Apologies in advance.

UPDATE 3:30: Police confirm Hinrichs under investigation. Scroll down for update.

Norman, Oklahoma, police confirmed in a press conference today that JOEL HENRY HINRICHS III was being investigated because he had acted suspiciously while attempting to buy ammonium nitrate fertilizer at an area store. Channel 5 Oklahoma:

At a 2 p.m. news conference, Norman Police Department spokesman J.D. Younger said an off-duty, plainclothes officer overheard a conversation Joel Henry Hinrichs III had with the proprietor of a Norman feed store last Thursday at 4 p.m. The conversation centered on a purchase of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

"I think it's important to note that it's not a criminal activity to purchase ammonium nitrate fertilizer," Younger said.

However, he noted that the context of Hinrichs' conversation with a manager of Ellison Feed & Seed was suspicious. Younger indicated that the off-duty officer reported that Hinrichs asked about different types of fertilizer and the concentration of ammonium nitrate in each.

Why is this suspicious? Because ammonium nitrate plus + diesel fuel = Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bomb!

What came of the investigation?

The officer, according to Younger, took a mental note of the conversation and its context, and then followed Hinrichs outside. The officer took down the student's license tag number, contacted Norman's police department dispatch operation, had Hinrichs checked for outstanding warrants -- but, alas, found nothing.

The officer continued his investigation Thursday night, but could only conclude that Hinrichs was an OU student and lived in university-subsidized housing. The officer did contact a Norman bomb squad technician; however, the plan at that time was for the off-duty officer to complete a written report for submission the following Monday.

So, an off duty cop thought the conversation he heard between Hinrichs and the store owner was suspicious enough to consult the bomb squad and start an investigation? Interesting, indeed.

Of course, Hinrichs blew himself up before the investigation could be completed. I wonder who the officer would have called next once he found out that Hinrichs roommate was a Pakistani national, jihad material was in his apartment, and neighbors claim Hinrichs attended a local mosque?

Still almost no MSM coverage of this story.

UPDATE 10/07 A.M.: Possible new development taken from this post.

An attorney for the Justice Department made an unusual statement today about the possibility of forthcoming arrests in the Oklahoma suicide-bombing case.

Last Saturday, Joel Henry Hinrichs III blew himself up outside of a University of Oklahoma football game. The FBI quickly stated that there was no evidence of a wider conspiracy.

However, WND reports this today (via Reaganites Unite):

The warrant used to execute a search of Oklahoma University bomber Joel "Henry" Hinrichs III's apartment, where an undetermined amount of explosives were found, has been sealed by a federal court at the request of the Justice Department.
A sealed warrant on top of the fact that the investigation is being led by the FBI's joint terrorism task-force may be an indication that the FBI is considering the possibility of a wider conspiracy after all.

Neighbors of Hinrichs allege that he was a frequent visitor to a nearby mosque, but the leader of the University of Oklahoma Muslim Student Association denies this. Hinrichs' roommate was a Pakistani national and sources claim jihad materials were found in Hinrichs' room.

Hinrichs was also under investigation by local police authorities because he had recently attempted to buy ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in large bombs of the type used in the 1995 Oklahoma City Murrah bombing and the first World Trade Center bombing. Hinrichs killed himself before the investigation could be completed.

Even more interesting is this statement from Bob Troester, first assistance U.S. attorney in Oklahoma City, as reported by WND:

"You can draw whatever assumption you like," he said. "We don't comment on any sealed indictments." (emphasis mine)
An indictment is far different than a search warrant. An indictment would mean that arrests are forthcoming and that the FBI has discovered a criminal conspiracy since dead people can't be indicted.

Of course, it is entirely possible that Troester simply misworded his answer and that he meant to say warrant. But this also could be a strong indication that Hinrichs was in fact part of a larger Islamic terror cell and that his death was due to the premature explosion of his bomb.

While certainly not conclusive, there is some evidence that indicates that Hinrichs was part of a larger Islamic terrorist plot to kill American citizens at the University of Oklahoma.

Bit hat tip to Reaganites Unite for the e-mail.

UPDATE 10/07 8:45 A.M.: MSM finally starting to report on this nationally. Classical Values is following MSM reaction here.

UPDATE 10/07 3:00 PM: Lawhawk says it well:

Indictments suggest that there are other individuals out there, and that this wasn't a lone individual who may or may not have had emotional problems. We're talking about the real distinct possibility of a terror cell operating in Norman, Oklahoma.
Mark Tapscott:
If...Hinrichs acted alone in committing suicide as a result of "problems" in his life, why seal the search warrant and thus prevent the public and reporters from seeing the most critical document of the investigation into the Oct. 1 bombing just outside OU's football stadium and its 84,000 fans watching the OU-Kansas State game?

UPDATE 10/07 4:20 PM: OU President Denies Wider Plot, No Ticket Sold to Hinrichs

The President of the University of Oklahoma has sent an e-mail to students denying that JOEL HENRY HINRICHS III was part of a larger Islamic terror plot. OU is also officially denying that Hinrichs was sold a ticket for the game. They also claim that there is no evidence that Hinrichs tried to buy a scalped ticket.

More here.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:00 AM | Comments |