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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

More "Suicide Bomber" Links to OU Islamists Confirmed; FBI Denies Terrorist Ties

The portrait of Joel Henry Hinrichs III, Muslim convert, is being completed almost by the hour as Oklahoma journalists continue probing the story behind the story of the OU student who allegedly committed suicide by strapping a bomb to his body and then blowing himself up within 100 yards of 84,000 people in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Oct. 1.

Some key facts:

- Hinrichs attended a nearby mosque, the same one apparently attended by the "20th hijacker" of 9/11, Zaccarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui attended the same Norman, OK, flight school attended by 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta and another of the hijackers.

- Hinrichs joined the Triangle engineering fraternity at OU but soon thereafter dropped out for a year, then took up residence in the university owned apartment complex known as "Little Tehran" in Norman rather than returning to the Triangle house.

- Hinrichs' roommate in the apartment is reportedly a Palestinian national.

- Authorities discovered bomb-making materials in Hinrichs' apartment, including a substance known as "Mother of Satan" among Islamofascist terrorist bombmakers.

As these details emerge, the FBI's claim to Hinrichs' hometown newspaper, the Colorado Springs Gazette, that he had no known terrorist connections looks increasingly hollow, like something authorities would say if they feared causing a public outcry.

I am wrapped up in a meeting all morning and at noon and thus can't do any reporting. Here are some suggested leads to pursue:

Has the NCAA been advised to take any security precautions since the OU bombing? Have any other schools with significant Muslim communities nearby or associated with the campus been advised to take security precautions since the OU bombing? Why did the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force take over the investigation so quickly if Hinrichs was merely a lone suicide? What else was found in Hinrichs' apartment besides the bomb-making materials? Why does Hinrichs' father have a lengthy list of former addresses? What about Hinrichs mother? Did Hinrichs travel outside the U.S. during his year out of school?

Go to it, bloggers!


The Daily Oklahoman reports the FBI this past Saturday led Hinrichs' Pakistani roomate and three other individuals away from the apartment he and the suicide bomber shared, but no charges were filed and all four were released later that evening.

The Oklahoman also reports the FBI did look into Hinrichs' possible ties to Islamic terrorist groups but found no evidence of any such links. The newspaper also said the FBI has decided Hinrichs acted entirely alone, despite at least one report by an OU student at the game that a stadium security guard said an individual refused to allow his backpack to be searched and ran away.

Despite the FBI's insistence that it has found no evidence of Hinrichs' links to any known terrorist outfit and the parallel insistence that Hinrichs acted alone in a suicide, there was no announcement that the Joint Task Force on Terrorism has been pulled from the case.