By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
• An FBI sketch of John Doe No. 2 resembled a Samara employee who described himself as a political refugee who had served in the Iraqi army. The TV station did not name him and digitized his photos to hide his identity. Later, Hussain Al-Hussaini came forward and said he was the man identified by several witnesses as possibly being John Doe No. 2, and sued the station and Davis for defamation and libel, saying he could be easily recognized from their coverage. (Al-Hussaini withdrew the state case, and a federal judge dismissed a second case; Al-Hussaini has appealed.)
• In an affidavit, a waitress said McVeigh and someone resembling Al-Hussaini came into her bar on April 15. The waitress said the man she had identified from a KFOR photo lineup “asked me if I was married. He spoke with an accent . . . a Middle Eastern accent.” She also said the FBI had interviewed her, and showed her photos and sketches of possible suspects. The photos were presumably taken from surveillance cameras near the Murrah Building. The FBI took possession of videos recorded by those cameras on April 19, and has refused to release them.
• In an affidavit, Mike Moroz, a worker at Johnny‘s Tire Service, a few blocks from the Murrah Building, said that at about 8:30 a.m. on April 19, the day of the bombing, McVeigh pulled up in his Ryder truck and asked for directions. He insisted there was another man sitting in the truck cab. Moroz told Davis he had picked McVeigh out of a live FBI lineup. He also said Al-Hussaini, as shown in one of KFOR’s surveillance photos, could have been the man he saw.
• A patron at the Social Security office at the Murrah Building, who was wounded in the blast, told Davis she was standing 12 feet away when the Ryder truck pulled up. She said she saw McVeigh and a “foreign-looking man with an olive complexion and thick black curly hair poking out of a ball cap” get out of the truck. She also gave this information to the FBI, even describing the insignia on the cap of the person with McVeigh. She identified him as possibly being Al-Hussaini from KFOR‘s photos.
• Employees and guests at a motel near downtown Oklahoma City reported seeing McVeigh with several Middle Eastern men in the months before the bombing. One of those men was identified from KFOR’s surveillance photos of Samara Properties as possibly being Al-Hussaini. The others were identified as fellow employees of Al-Hussaini. McVeigh reportedly stayed at the motel, under the name of Bob Kling, an alias he had used before, according to the FBI. The witnesses said they had often seen several of the men moving large barrels around in the back of an old white truck that frequently broke down on the lot. The barrels smelled of diesel, they said, an ingredient in the bomb that destroyed the federal building. According to an FBI report, an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent confiscated the motel‘s registration records and logs.
• In a hidden-camera interview, Terry Nichols’ ex-wife told of his trips to the Philippines. “Tim bought Terry the first ticket for the Philippines” in 1989, she said. Nichols, who eventually married a woman from Cebu City, traveled, often without his new wife, back and forth to the Philippines, considered by some a hotbed for terrorist activity. His last visit came in November 1994. Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted of masterminding the 1993 Trade Center bombing and a plot to blow up U.S. airliners, operated out of Mindanao and Manila; Yousef received funding from Osama bin Laden; and, according to a motion filed by McVeigh‘s defense team, an American fitting Nichols’ description met with Yousef in 1992 or 1993 in the Philippines.
• Yossef Bodansky, the executive director of the U.S. House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, told Davis that terrorist organizations linked to Iran and Syria had been talking about a U.S. terror campaign since late 1994. The task force issued the first of several confidential warnings to federal agencies on February 27, 1995. It said that “Striking inside the U.S. is presently a high priority of Tehran” and went on to warn of attacks on “airports, airlines, telephone systems etc.” An update, issued on March 3, 1995, said there was a “greater likelihood that the terrorists would strike at the heart of the U.S.” Israeli intelligence sources warned one month before the Oklahoma City bombing that an impending terrorist attack would use “lily whites,” which, Bodansky explained, are “people without any distinct background, record of any kind . . . who will never be suspected members of a terrorist group.”
It is not clear how or whether all of this adds up. Davis has struggled to get the results of her investigation to the public. Twice, she has been sued for libel and defamation, in state and federal courts, by Al-Hussaini, who stepped forward on June 15, 1995, and said that he was living in fear since KFOR and Davis fingered him. He said he was at work when the bombing occurred and denied knowing McVeigh. The federal judge who dismissed his lawsuit said Al-Hussaini‘s claim that he was at work at the time of the bombing was false.