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Friday, January 27, 2006

Justice Department Denies Hinrichs FOIA, Says Probe is "Ongoing" in Non-Terrorist-Related Suicide

Joel Hinrichs blew himself up Oct. 1 while sitting on a park bench near the University of Oklahoma's football stadium. He died within yards of more than 84,000 people, killed by a bomb made of the same mixture favored by Middle Eastern terrorists.

Within hours of Hinrichs' death, however, both the president of OU, former Oklahoma Senator David Boren, and the FBI claimed the young man acted alone and had no terrorist ties. Even so, the Joint Task on Terrorism was called in as the lead agency investigating the claimed suicide.

In the weeks thereafter as October became November, a procession of high officials at OU, within the FBI and even an Oklahoma congressman insisted there was no evidence in the Hinrichs case to indicate anything other than a suicide.

It's now the end of January, virtually four months after Hinrichs was declared a suicide with no terrorist ties. Yet in a Jan. 25, 2006, letter denying my Freedom of Information Act request for all documents referencing Hinrichs, a Justice Department official says the requested documents cannot be released because the government's investigation is still open and "release of this information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings."

Enforcement proceedings in a non-terrorist-related suicide?

Why are federal anti-terrorism officials and investigators who could otherwise be tracking down real terrorists still spending time and tax dollars on a case they insist isn't connected to terrorism?

And then people in government wonder why their credibility with the rest of us continues to plummet?

Maybe the investigators should go here. Here. Here. And Here.


Generation Why's Jason Smith has a super idea - if you wonder what in the world is going on with the OU Suicide Bomber investigation, file an FOIA! Jason has the link to an FOIA letter generator that makes the process easy.