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 |

November 21, 2005

OU Bomber Used TATP

We will grant that University of Oklahoma suicide bomber Joel Henry Hinrichs III may have not been part of a larger Islamic plot.

But I think the larger issue is being missed here: if you want to blow yourself up, which major world-wide religion do you consult for the expertise?

No, it's not the Mennonites.

Denver Channel:

FBI agents found the same type of volatile high explosive believe to have been used in the suicide bombings in London inside the apartment of a University of Oklahoma student who blew himself up near a packed football stadium, according to newly released documents.

....The FBI also found Hinrichs downloaded from the Internet "numerous text and image files" on weapons and explosives, including one on TATP four days before his death.

One video on his computer depicted a lit match being placed above a white powder then a bright flash.

Paranthetically, I also have a number of "'numerous text and image files on weapons and explosives', including one on TATP" and a video depicting a "lit match being placed above a white powder then a bright flash" on my computer. Of course, I got all of said images and videos from jihadi forums.
The FBI also discovered "explosive experiments and paraphernalia" and 0.4 pounds of a white powder that turned out to be triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which is composed of hydrogen peroxide and acetone, according to warrants to search the home of Joel Henry Hinrichs III.
So, the case against Hinrichs seems to be closed for the FBI. He was a lone suicidial nut. Perhaps the only meaningful Islamic connection here is Hinrichs' source of inspiration: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al Qaeda, etc.

Even so, that is saying a lot.......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:36 AM | Comments |

October 14, 2005

Debunking the WSJ/CBS Debunking of the Oklahoma Bombing

Was Joel Henry Hinrichs III a terrorist? Until the investigation is complete, we cannot know that for a fact. So, how can The Wall Street Journal know that he was not?

Yesterday the WSJ did an incredibly pathetic job of debunking the Joel Henry Hinrichs suicide-bombing story yesterday. Ryan Chittum and Joe Hagan's argument that Hinrichs was not a failed terrorist--whether acting alone or as part of a larger conspiracy--is a pathetic resort to authority. No new facts are cited to dispute reasonable questions that Hinrichs was a terrorist--and they are just that, questions.

They simply cite the University of Oklahoma President David Boren's assurances that it was not terrorism--statements he began to make before the investigation had even begun--the protests of Hinrichs' father that his son was not a Muslim, and a single FBI statement in an ongoing investigation.

When an act of war is committed--which a suicide bombing is--in a time of war--which we are in now--on a field of battle--which the terrorists have made the American homeland--then it seems reasonable to assume that the act was part of the larger war. The act may eventually turn out to be unrelated, but that says nothing of the larger point of whether or not Hinrichs' suicide-bombing should have been a major news story and whether it was reasonable to ask questions about his death?

Since the WSJ, and the later CBS coverage of the debunking, fails to mention The Jawa Report as a chief culprate in spreading unsubstantiated rumors and innuendo, our editorial board feels duty bound to respond to the non-allegation that we have done shoddy reporting.

The original WSJ article is bad enough, but the CBS News coverage of the WSJ article is worse. Here is how they quote the WSJ:

“Adding to community concern was the revelation that two days before he blew himself up, Mr. Hinrichs visited a feed store and inquired about buying ammonium nitrate -- the same chemical Timothy McVeigh put in the bomb he used in 1995 to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, 20 miles to the north.…
All of the above are undisputed facts. Notice, however, the .... after the end of the paragraph? CBS connects the known facts with uncorroborated reports. It goes on.
To that unsettling set of facts, blogs and local Oklahoma TV stations added several apparent inaccuracies, including: that Mr. Hinrichs was a Muslim and visited the mosque frequently; that he tried to enter the stadium twice but was rebuffed; that he had a one-way airplane ticket to Algeria; that there were nails in the bomb and that Islamic extremist literature was found in his apartment.

None of these claims are true: Mr. Hinrichs's family, university officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation say Mr. Hinrichs suffered from depression, and the explosion was an isolated event.”

The way these paragraphs are put together, the reader is under the impression that things such as Hinrichs buying ammonium nitrate were also untrue. But that Hinrichs was under investigation by local police is not in dispute. CBS misleads its readers by stringing these paragraphs together.

But the original WSJ reports is equally shoddy. They unequivically state that "none of these claims are true." So, which claims are untrue and how do they know that.

1) Claim: "Mr. Hinrichs was a Muslim and visited the mosque frequently."
Source of refutation: Hinrichs' father-- "Joel wasn't a Muslim and wasn't under anyone's sway, Mr. Hinrichs says"

2) Claim: "Hinrichs tried to enter the stadium twice but was rebuffed"
Source of refutation: not cited. However, we reported here that security tapes did not show Hinrichs trying to enter the statium.

3) Claim: "he had a one-way airplane ticket to Algeria"
Source of refutation: not cited. However, notice this from the same article "investigators did find an airplane ticket to Algeria, it wasn't in Mr. Hinrichs's apartment, but rather in one belonging to an international student, Mr. Boren said.

4) Claim: "there were nails in the bomb
Source of refutation: not cited.

So, what we have are a series of unsubstantiated allegation. Are any of these allegations true? I've no idea. But how do we know that "none of these allegations are true" as the WSJ claims? Because David Boren and Hinrichs' father claim they are not true.

As we said in our first report on this story on October 4th that since the Northeast Intelligence Network was the source of some of the information (such as the report that a ticket to Algeria was found in his room) much of this needs to be taken with a fair amount of skepticism. But to claim that what we and other blogs have been asking "is just smoke...It's bilge" as the WSJ quotes Hinrichs' father as saying is beyond the pale.

It is true that some bloggers have jumped to the conclusion that this definitely was part of a larger plot, but for the most part this site and sites like Little Green Footballs, Michelle Malkin, Powerline, Generation Why, Mark Tapscott, and others have simply wondered why this was not getting coverage and how David Boren and others were so sure this was not terrorism when the investigation was incomplete?

If it is irresponsible to ask whether a suicide-bomber might have been a terrorist, then count us guilty. If it is irresponsible to ask why the mainstream media has not given coverage to what is normally considered an act of war in a time of in America's heartland, then count us guilty. If we are to err, let us err on the side of caution--and that side is quite different after 9/11 than before it.

While many of the alleged 'facts' about Hinrichs will certainly be disproven in the coming days, refutations by David Boren are not enough to convince us that there is nothing more to see here.

This and all other posts related to Joel Henry Hinrichs III are archived here.

UPDATE: By Vinnie, Hannity and Colmes will have an Oklahoma congressman on "who is determined to get to the bottom" of this case.

Should be interesting...I'm sure more updates will follow.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:01 PM | Comments |

October 11, 2005

FBI: No Known Link Between Hinrichs & Terrorists

Interesting development in the Oklahoma suicide-bombing carried out by Joel Henry Hinrichs III on Oct. 1st outside a University of Oklahoma football game. CNS is reporting that the FBI is now denying that they have found any links between Hinrichs and Islamic terrorists. CNSNews:

The head of the FBI investigation of a suicide bombing at an Oklahoma University football game said the investigation has yielded no information tying the bomber to terrorist activities, in spite of Internet reports to the contrary.
The article, written by Nathan Burchfiel, is fairly critical of The Northeast Intelligence Network's (NIN) Director Douglas Hagmann, who has been a source of such information as the bomb being made out of TATP and who also claims to have information that jihadi material was found in Hinrichs' apartment:
When asked if NIN's reports are consistent with the FBI investigation, [Gary] Johnson [who is heading the investigation from the bureau's Oklahoma City office] said, "No," then added, Well okay the stuff that's found in his apartment, I can't comment on [be]cause it's part of a search warrant that's sealed.

"As this time," he said, "there is no known link between Hinrichs and any terrorist or extremist organization group or activity or activities." Johnson said the investigation is ongoing.

The article doesn't shut the door on Hinrichs being part of a larger Islamic terror cell, but it certainly seems that the FBI are not leaning in this direction.

As we stated the very first time we posted on Hinrichs, NIN has not proved to be the most reliable source in the past. Despite this, they remain on my daily reading list and I believe Hagmann provides a valuable service. It's very possible that some of the information past on to NIN them is incorrect, but that other bits of information given to them by their sources is wrong.

What we know about Joel Henry Hinrichs is dwarfed by what we don't know. For instance, Hinrichs attempting to purchase ammonium nitrates is part of the public record. What we don't know, though, is why Hinrichs was after ammonium nitrates if he was a lone suicidal nut. Maybe he just wanted to go out with a bigger-boom? It's possible.

So what is the truth about Hinrichs? Was he part of an Islamic terror cell in Norman, Oklahoma? Still too early to tell based on public information.

NIN more than stretches unrelated bits of information when they say follow the money and uniquivocally claim Hinrichs was part of a terror cell.

But it's also way too early to dismiss the notion given the context of the present war against radical Islam. When someone commits what is normally considered an act of war (suicide-bomb), during a time of war, it's not being hasty to come to the initial conclusion that the act in question was part of the larger war.

So, we'll continue to cover this story as a case of terrorism--just as the FBI continues to investigate it as an act of terrorism--until all avenues of investigation have been exhausted.

This and all other posts related to Joel Henry Hinrichs and the Oklahoma bombing can be found on this archive.

PS-I swear I'm going to post less....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:06 PM | Comments |

October 10, 2005

PC Hacks at OU Paper Covering Up Oklahoma Bombing

joelhenryhinrichsIII.jpgThe University of Oklahoma student newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily (OD), today calls for the FBI break its silence on Joel Henry Hinrichs III--the OU student who blew himself up outside a football game on Oct. 1. The reason? To dispell the myths propogated by online 'hacks' that are claiming that the Oklahoma bomber, Hinrichs, may have been part of a larger Islamic terror plot.

Underlying today's editiorial is the assumption that Hinrichs was not part of a larger plot and that any evidence to the contrary is simply poor journalism.

The Oklahoma Daily even goes so far as to call those circulating this evidence "liars".

Such accusations come as no surprise to Jawa Report readers. The prevailing wisdom in both academia and in the media is that worries about homegrown Islamic terror cells are overblown. In many corners, especially prevelant in our nations' universities, there is even suspicion that the Bush Administration is really behind domestic terror fears as a way of diverting the publics' attention away from real issues.

It remains to be seen whether of not Joel Henry Hinrichs III was part of a larger Islamic terror plot. Stating unequivocally that he was part of such a plot is, in fact, shoddy journalism.

However, it is equally shoddy journalism to state, unequivocally, that Hinrichs was not part of such a plot. And to state, unequivocally, that there is no evidence that would lead some to this conclusion is the type of head-buried-in-the-sand type of journalism that we've come to expect out of the mainstream-media and in who's image aspiring journalists are molded.

There is, in fact, a great deal of circumstantial evidence to suggest that Hinrichs' death was a failed terror attack. Glaringly missing from today's OD editorial is the fact that Hinrichs was under investigation by local authorities because he had attempted to buy ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in the truck bomb used to bring down the Murrah building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh. Hinrichs, of course, blew himself up before the investigation could be completed. A first, we might add, since there is no record of an American killing himself by explosion.

Further, neighbors of Hinrichs claim he was a frequent visitor to a nearby mosque. The leaders of the OU Muslim Student Association, though, deny that Hinrichs was a Muslim. At best, then, we have conflicting reports. But just because the OU student newpaper cannot confirm that Hinrichs attended the mosque in question does not mean that media reports to the contrary are fabrications. They could be fabrications, but, then again, so could the denials.

The problem with this student newspaper, and the mainstream-media in general, is that they cower in fear over reaction to any implication that the Muslim community might have a greater propensity towards terrorism than, say, the Mennonite community. They are, in fact, held hostage from the truth by their unwavering faith that all religious ideologies are equal in driving violence as those on the other end of the spectrum are held hostage from the truth by their unwavering faith that Islam, alone, is responsible for the ills of the world.

They are right in the central premise of the editorial: the FBI ought to release pertinent information. But they make a major assumptive leap, which is quite revealing, that whatever information the FBI has would be exculpatory rather than damning.

Release the information, they say, because we know (without having seen this information) that it will prove there is no Islamic terror cell at the OU campus.

The fact remains that we have no idea what evidence the FBI has. The only bit of revealing information about which way the evidence is leading the FBI is a single statement from first assistant attorney for the Justice Department in Oklahoma City, Bob Troester, who said:

We don't comment on sealed indictments.
An indictment, even a sealed one, would mean that the FBI is already contemplating further arrest in the Oklahoma bombing. After all, one does not indict a corpse.

Of course, Troester's statement could have been a slip of the tongue. He could have meant sealed search warrant rather than indictment. People make mistakes, slips of tongue happen. But until such time as the Justice Department seeks to clarify the statement, then we ought to assume that they meant what they said.

The fundamental question raised is whether or not we have learned anything from 9/11 or not? Do we continue to treat terrorism, as we did prior to 9/11, as an act of criminality or do we treat terrorism as an act of war?

If a mere criminal act, then the public ought to reserve judgement. Innnocent until proven guilty, it is better to let a hundred guilty men go free than convict one innocent, etc., etc, and all that. The greatest fear among people with this point of view is that innocents are unfairly branded enemies and that publications, like this, might call someone a name they don't desrve.

If an act of war, then the public has a right to expect that affirmative measures will be taken to assure that such acts will not take place in the future. In war, there is no presumption of innocence. In fact, when an act of war (such as a bombing) takes place on a field of battle (as the American homeland now is) in such a way that the only known incidents of the act have been perpetrated by enemy combatents (as suicide-bombings are relatively rare outside the Islamic terror community), then one ought to presume terrorism until otherwise disproven.

We at The Jawa Report take the latter stance. The context of war changes everything. If the OD does not understand that we are at war and that the field of battle is U.S. soil itself, then they have learned nothing from 9/11. Their greatest fear may be that innocents are unfairly branded terrorists, and that is a legitimate concern.

Our greatest fear, though, is that our enemies walk freely among us, using that presumption of innocence to plot our demise and kill us. In either case, the possibility of being wrong is present, but only in the latter will being wrong get people killed.

So, since the good editors at the OD decided to call us hacks (and worse) for suggesting that Hinrichs might just be part of a larger plot, let us practice that age old journalistic practice of tit-for-tat and suggest that it is the OD that is staffed by hacks. But hacks isn't sufficient a word to describe people who's agenda it is to make all seem right at OU, despite the fact that a student just blew himself up outside of a football game. No, hacks is reserved for mundane political types who say what they say in order to get their guy elected. As far as we can tell no one is running for election at OU--unless of course David Boren is thinking of coming out of retirement--so hacks isn't appropriate here. A far stronger term is needed to describe people willing to cover up what looks to be an act of terrorism in America's heartland and call that responsible journalism.

Any guesses on what that word is? Please put your answers in the comments section.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:01 PM | Comments |

October 08, 2005

Oklahoma Bomber Not Seen on Security Tapes

The FBI says that JOEL HENRY HINRICHS III was not spotted on security tapes trying to enter the University of Oklahoma vs. Kansas State football game before he blew himself up just outside the stadium on October 1st.

This is important news that would indicate that earlier reports that Hinrichs was seen trying to enter the stadium, but ran away when security guards attempted to check his backpack, were wrong. If Hinrichs was really part of larger Islamic plot to commit an act of terrorism, then why didn't he try to get into the stadium where he could do maximun damage?

However, the report is unclear just how much of the stadium is under video surveillance. If all the entrance gates were not under surveillance, then the fact that Hinrichs does not appear on video is really a minor point.

KOTV:

A completed review of University of Oklahoma stadium surveillance tapes by the FBI did not spot Joel Henry Hinrichs III trying to get inside.
The same report also says that the bench where Hinrichs blew up was also not under surveillance. The bench was about 100 yards from the stadium.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:57 PM | Comments |

October 07, 2005

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.

News OK:

University spokeswoman Catherine Bishop said OU officials have reviewed their ticket records and determined that Hinrichs did not buy a football ticket from any university outlet.

She said university officials have heard nothing to indicate Hinrichs attempted to buy a ticket from one of the fans selling tickets outside the stadium.

What is interesting about this is that OU is denying allegations that have not been made. I have been following this case rather closely and have seen no one claim that Hinrich bought a ticket to the game that day.

There have been allegations by NEIN that there was a ticket to Algeria in Hinrichs' apartment, but not a OU-Kansas State game ticket.

There have been allegations that a student (and by conjecture this student has become Hinrich) attempted to enter the stadium and was turned away when he refused to have his bags searched, but not that he tried to buy a scalped ticket.

What is especially odd about this is that the refutation actually would seem to corroborate what many are saying: that Hinrichs was part of a larger terrorist plot to kill people at the game.

If Hinrichs attempted to enter the game and didn't buy the ticket himself, then one is led to the inevetable conclusion that someone else bought the ticket for him. If someone else provided Hinrichs the ticket and knew his intentions, then you have a wider plot. The Oklahoma bombing is a much bigger deal if not the act of a lone suicidal nut.

Further, OU continues to lead the public to believe that Hinrichs death had nothing to do with Islamic terrorism.

Here is a PDF copy of an e-mail sent by University of Oklahoma President, David Boren to all students yesterday. In it, he alludes to internet outlets, such as The Jawa Report, that have 'jumped to conclusions' about a wider Islamic terror plot, and lectures us about how this is 'un-American'.

Of course, it's not 'jumping to conclusions' to reflexively say that no such plot exists when in fact the investigation is ongoing. Further, to deny that radical Islam is somehow connected to terrorism is perfectly American, according to Boren.

Boren also tells students that if he learns of any information from the FBI concerning a wider conspiracy, he will 'immediately' let them know.

It's not clear how Boren would know what the FBI is doing in an ongoing terror investigation, and in which search warrants and indictments are under court seal, so that he could rush and warn his students that an Islamic terror cell is operating on his campus.

Whether or not Hinrichs was part of an Islamic terror cell operating in Oklahoma is still in the air. It's very possible that he was not, that some of the evidence pointing to such a plot is merely coincidence, or that some of the evidence we have reported previously was not true. But, based on what is in the public record now, it would be hard to avoid coming to the conclusion that Hinrichs death was probably a failed terrorist attack.

To deny that would be jumping to conclusion.

AIM has a good article up on the Oklahoma bombing investigation here (hat tip Cinnamon)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:41 PM | Comments |

Indictment Forthcoming in Oklahoma Bombing?

joelhenryhinrichsIII.jpg 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. Please see this post for the details.

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 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?
Indeed.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:23 AM | Comments |

October 06, 2005

Islamic Terrorism in Oklahoma Likely

joelhenryhinrichsIII.jpg Please scroll through main page for more recent entries.

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?
Indeed.

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 |

October 04, 2005

Oklahoma Suicide Bomber May be Jihadi, Father Denies

UPDATE: Updated and related post Islamic Terrorism in Oklahoma Likely

The father of a University of Oklahoma student, Joel Henry Hinrichs III, that blew himself up on Saturday is denying reports that his son's death was somehow politically motivated.

However, both World Net Daily and the Northeast Intelligence Network are reporting that law enforcement agents found jihadi material in Hinrich's apartment. Included in the material were instructions on how to make bombs used in suicide attacks.

World Net Daily:

Doug Hagmann, a seasoned investigator, told WND he was informed by multiple reliable law-enforcement sources familiar with the investigation into the incident that authorities recovered a "significant amount" of "jihad" materials, as well as Hinrichs' computer.

Hagmann also said those same sources indicated police and federal agents "had pulled additional explosives from [Hinrichs'] house," including triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, "homemade explosive [that is] very potent but relatively easily manufactured."

TATP is the explosive used in the London transit bombings.
The confiscated jihad documents "referenced bomb-making manuals and that type of thing," Hagmann said, who added Hinrichs' apartment in Norman, Okla., is "located near the Islamic Society [of Norman]."
Larry Hagmann is the director of the Northeast Intelligence Network, so both stories are based on the same uncorraborated reports. NEIN has been called 'the world's most alarmist website' by a number of people in the past, so we'll let that stand as a disclaimer. It will be very interesting to follow this story and see what really motivated Hinrichs to kill himslelf in this fashion.

However, if the WND/NEIN reports are true about jihadi material, but Hinrichs was not motivated by jihad, then think about what this is saying. If you want to blow yourself up, then who better to consult than the local chapter of the Islamic Society of North America? That's a pretty sad statement.

Hat tip to blog-son Eric from Vince Aut Morire who found it at Clarity and Resolve

UPDATE: Super-sikrit note to Bill Quick and Kevin Aylward. Maybe not jihadi, but if you're going to kill yourself why not consult with the experts.....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:36 AM | Comments |