March 01, 2006

Reopening the Joel Henry Hinrich III Case?

Two tips came in to me today letting me know that there may be more to the Joel Henry Hinrich III University of Oklahoma bombing than my last dismissal of it (scroll through the entire Joel Henry Hinrich III archive, from bottom to top, if you aren't up to speed on the case).

The first came from Jason at Generation Why, who notes that a local police officer, Sgt. George Mauldin, believes Hinrich may have intended to blow up more than himself based on evidence that he had tested bombs with shrapnel, in the weeks leading to the apparent suicide-bombing, and material that could be used as shrapnel was found in his apartment.

Also noted by Jason is the fact that 2 to 3 pounds of TATP were used in the bomb--a material of choice among Islamic terrorists.

The second tip was from Mark Tapscott, who posted about the FBI's response to Mauldin's speculation that Hinrich was intent on taking out other students, and not just himself. Tapscott interviews Gary Johnson of the FBI who says:

"That's just an individual's opinion," Johnson said in an interview with Tapscott's Copy Desk. Johnson said the FBI stands by its view that Hinrichs was not involved in any terrorist activities.
...

Johnson said he expects an official statement from the FBI concluding the Hinrichs investigation "within a few weeks."

So, the local guy(s) think Hinrich wanted to commit an act of terrorism, motivated by whatever, and the Feds think Hinrich was just a depressive loner who wanted to go out with a bang.

Lawhawk, who I nearly always trust, follows the lead of the afformentioned bloggers and comes to the conclusion that:

$64,000 questions one and all, and all remain a mystery.
Since I was one of the original fans that feuled the flames of speculation that Hinrich was a closet Islamic terrorist, I feel a little bit of responsibility to make some kind of authoritative statement.

Hinrichs was not part of a larger Islamic plot and the FBI seems to have it right. I will revise my views based on further evidence, but between the opinion of a local cop and a member of the FBI's counterrorism task-force, I'll take the latter as the more informed.

However, all of the above begs a very interesting question: If you want to blow up yourself, to what authority to you go to? Why, the experts at blowing themselves up, Muslim terrorists! And that, I think, is a story worth telling in and of itself.

UPDATE: et tu Michelle? While the rush to declare the OU bombing "not Islamic terrorism" by many in the media and government was troubling, its also troubling that many of us have a hard time believing that maybe sometimes a rose is just a rose.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:52 PM | Comments |