Was the Oklahoma City bombing the silver bullet that could have prevented 9-11?
By Jayna Davis
Is this Iraqi man, likely a member of Unit 999 of the Iraq Intelligence Service, John Doe #2?Jayna Davis was among the first correspondents on the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing. During the past nine years, Jayna has compiled a comprehensive and compelling investigative dossier, which unveils the Middle East's hand in the Oklahoma bombing. Her new book, below, expertly examines the connections between the Oklahoma City bombing, Iraq, and possibly even Al Qaeda.
The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing
by Jayna Davis
Was the April 19, 1995 strike on America's heartland the greatest law enforcement failure of the 20th century that led, in part, to the terrorist holocaust of the young 21st century? I believe a compelling body of evidence illustrates how Iraqi intelligence agents infiltrated the United States in order to recruit and assist Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building.
My tumultuous journey began nine years ago, amidst the widespread death and destruction on a scale Americans had never before seen. As an investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City, KFOR-TV, I was among the first correspondents on the scene of the bombing.
Within twenty-four hours, my news director, Melissa Klinzing, assigned me to cover the international manhunt for suspects. That assignment soon became a personal quest to seek the untold story behind the murderous rage and fury that left our country forever changed. The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing is the culmination of nearly a decade of exhaustive research to wrench out the truth, however ugly, in an age of political "spin" and massaging facts to suit agendas.
The evening of June 7, 1995, seemed almost surreal when KFOR-TV led the 6:00 pm newscast with a ground breaking story of Middle East complicity in the Oklahoma City bombing. The broadcast challenged the FBI's publicly espoused theory that two right-wing fanatics, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, single-handedly pulled off the crime of the century. Our story featured the steadfast testimonies of witnesses who placed an Iraqi soldier in the company of McVeigh at a local tavern a few days prior to the strike on America's heartland.
Forty-eight hours later, KFOR-TV rocked the airwaves once more. A downtown witness who stepped directly into the path of a speeding brown Chevrolet pickup just sixty seconds after the blast, picked the same Iraqi national from a photo lineup as the driver of that truck. The brown pickup matched the FBI's official all-points-bulletin for a getaway vehicle that was issued in the wake of the explosion for foreign suspects.
Throughout the course of my investigation, I interviewed eighty potential witnesses"twenty-two of whom I deemed credible because their testimonies could be independently corroborated and their stories did not conflict with the government's case against McVeigh and Nichols. In detailed affidavits, these eyewitnesses positively identified 8 Middle Eastern men, the majority of whom are former Iraqi soldiers, colluding with Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols during various stages of the bombing plot.
All of these suspects immigrated to the U.S. following the Persian Gulf War, ostensibly seeking political asylum from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. However, my investigation revealed they were false defectors -not outspoken dissidents as they had professed.
This cadre of former Iraqi servicemen moved to Oklahoma City in the fall of 1994 and began performing handiwork for a property management company that was owned and operated by a Palestinian ex-patriate. This affluent real estate mogul, who operated under eight known aliases, funded his vast, multi-million dollar housing empire from monies contributed by siblings living in Baghdad, Jerusalem, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and Amman, Jordan.
In the early 1990's, the Palestinian property owner pled guilty to federal insurance fraud and spent time in the penitentiary. Court records revealed the FBI once suspected this ex-convict of ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Six months prior to the bombing, the Palestinian businessman turned federal felon hired a handful of Iraqi soldiers to do maintenance work at his low-income rental houses. On April 19, several witnesses watched in stunned amazement as their Middle Eastern co-workers expressed prideful excitement upon hearing the first radio broadcasts that Islamic extremists had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Murrah Building. The men exuberantly pledged their allegiance to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, vowing they would "die for Saddam."
The majority of these Iraqi soldiers were identified colluding with McVeigh and Nichols in the months, weeks, days, and final hours leading up to 9:02 am on April 19, 1995. The most incriminating testimony centered around one man who not only fit the FBI's physical description in the official arrest warrant for John Doe 2, but according to veteran law enforcement officials, was a dead ringer for the profile sketch of the elusive suspect.
Witnesses identified this Iraqi immigrant in the company of McVeigh prior to the bombing, seated in the passenger seat of the Ryder truck the morning of April 19, stepping out of that truck at ground zero, and speeding away from downtown seconds after the blast in a brown Chevrolet pickup which was aggressively pursued by law enforcement.
Who is the man identified by a plethora of witnesses as the infamous third terrorist? I sat across the table from this individual for eight days of intense interrogation. I peered inside his psychiatric file in which he confessed to having hallucinations and trepidation about being arrested for complicity in the Oklahoma bombing.
His name is Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini.
I was able to learn intimate secrets about Al-Hussaini because he granted me an investigative tool to which few journalists have access - discovery. On August 24, 1995, weeks after the FBI announced it had abandoned the international manhunt for John Doe 2, Hussain Al-Hussaini filed a libel lawsuit against KFOR-TV.
Eyewitnesses had identified this Iraqi soldier drinking beer with McVeigh prior to the heartland massacre, seated in the explosives-laden Ryder truck the morning of April 19, descending from that truck in front of the ill-fated Murrah Building, and peeling away from the shattered and burning remains of the federal complex in a brown pickup targeted by federal authorities. Yet for some inexplicable reason, the FBI never questioned Hussaini Al-Hussaini. But more significantly, the Bureau refused my repeated requests to officially clear him as a suspect.
The Department of Justice did not hesitate to grant absolution to several men who were identified by the media as having been questioned as John Doe 2 look-alikes. Yet when Hussain Al-Hussaini issued a public plea through the Oklahoma City press for exoneration, the FBI refused to deliver.
But the inexplicable silence from federal law enforcement did not deter the Iraqi soldier from pursuing his litigation against me and KFOR-TV. I viewed that litigation as an offensive weapon which enabled me to subpoena Al-Hussaini's immigration file - that information, coupled with a photograph of a military tattoo on his upper left arm, provided a rare opportunity to deconstruct the Iraqi soldier's murky past.
Colonel Patrick Lang, the former chief of human intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency who served as a consultant to the U.S. military during Operation Desert Storm, evaluated Al-Hussaini's immigration records and emblematic tattoo. The conclusion - this man most likely served in Saddam Hussein's elite fighting forces - the Republican Guard, and from there was promoted up the ranks to Unit 999 of the Iraq Intelligence Service.
The lawsuit also ushered in a once-in-a-lifetime moment. In the fall of 1998, I sat face-to-face with a man I knew had been positively identified as a perpetrator of mass murder in the very city where the deposition would take place.
Much to everyone's surprise, Al-Hussaini broke down under questioning and unwittingly confessed to self-incriminating details - details known only to the dark-haired stranger seen socializing with a very boisterous Timothy McVeigh and the bar tender who served beer to the two men in an Oklahoma City nightclub.
Sweeping legal vindication
On November 17, 1999, Federal Judge Timothy Leonard dismissed the libel lawsuit in a sweeping ruling that upheld as "undisputed" all fifty statements of fact and opinion that implicated Hussain Al-Hussaini as the third terrorist in the Oklahoma City bombing. More significantly, the evidence irrefutably discredited his alibi.
Al-Hussaini could never establish for the court his whereabouts for the critical hours of April 19. Nonetheless, he appealed his case to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. On March 26, 2003, the three-judge panel issued a unanimous ruling to dismiss the case and affirmed the trial court's decision.
Nexus: 4-19 and 9-11
Soon after that fateful day in April of 1995, Al-Hussaini moved to Boston and sought employment at the Boston Logan International Airport. In November 1997, four years before two planes were hijacked from that very airport on a murderous trek to the World Trade Center, Al-Hussaini confided to his psychiatrist he was apprehensive about his airport job stating "If something happens there. I'll be a suspect."
During his deposition one year later in 1998, Al-Hussaini disclosed that during the time he was experiencing panic attacks about his airport employment, he was residing with two Iraqi Gulf War veterans
who served in Saddam's army
. The Iraqi veterans owned a business that provided food-catering services to the commercial airlines at Boston Logan.
In the wake of the suicide hijackings of 2001, law enforcement speculated that food service workers might have planted the box cutters aboard those doomed flights. Hussain Al-Hussaini's bizarre prediction and expressed fear about an event that might occur at Boston Logan just grazes the surface of the disturbing connections I have discovered between 4-19 and 9-11.
9-11 Commission and FBI Director Louis Freeh
The 9-11 commission recently discussed my book when commissioner John Lehman asked former FBI Director Louis Freeh about the possible Iraqi/Al Qaeda connection to the Oklahoma City bombing. Lehman boldly asserted that the startling new information contained in The Third Terrorist "begs for further investigation." Director Freeh declined to dismiss the notion of foreign complicity in the 1995 terrorist massacre.
The evidence that I have outlined, thus far, deals solely with the collusion of Iraqi nationals with Timothy McVeigh. However, I have also uncovered strong indicators of an Al-Qaeda connection to this terrorist operation. The McVeigh defense team uncovered evidence that indicated Terry Nichols might have received bomb making expertise from Al Qaeda explosives experts based in the Philippines.
We know that this small-time Kansas farmer of modest means took expensive and unexplained trips to the Philippines, many times without his Filipino mail order bride. The court record reveals the Oklahoma City bomber was in Cebu City in December 1994 at the same time as the mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack, Ramzi Yousef.
Did these two men cross paths? According to the sworn statement of the co-founder of the Muslim terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, which is a spin-off organization of Al Qaeda, Terry Nichols and Ramzi Yousef met personally to discuss bomb making in the early 1990's.
Richard Clarke, President Clinton's former chief terrorist advisor, disclosed in his new book that the FBI "could never disprove" the theory that the Kansas farmer learned the macabre genius of terrorist bomb making under the training of Philippines-based Al-Qaeda general, Ramzi Yousef. Clarke stated, "We do know that Nichols' bombs did not work before his Philippine stay and were deadly when he returned."
Phone records revealed that Nichols received and made a slew of calls to a boarding house in Cebu City, which according to McVeigh's defense lawyers, sheltered students from a university well known for Islamic militancy. Nichols and McVeigh also made a series of cryptic calls on a phone debit card to untraceable numbers and public pay phones in the Philippines from public pay phones in Kansas in order to cover their trail. Why? That question has never been addressed or answered by the Department of Justice.
Prior warning and two "lily white" recruits
Attorney General John Ashcroft recently warned the nation to brace for a possible Al-Qaeda attack in which the Islamic militants might recruit people who appear "European"- operatives who could easily slip below the law enforcement radar screen. I have learned first hand that terrorism makes for strange bedfellows and unforeseen alliances between seemingly polar-opposite groups. As the old saying goes, "An enemy of an enemy is a temporary friend." Such was the case in the 1995 strike on the Oklahoma federal complex.
On February 27, 1995 the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare issued a prior warning that stated there would be an "Iran-sponsored Islamic attack" on U.S. soil. Washington D.C. topped the hit list. The primary targets were Congress and the White House, a prescient insight into the events of 9-11.
The warning was distributed to the FBI and other federal intelligence agencies. In response, security was beefed up in the capitol city, so the focus then shifted from Washington, D.C. to the American Midwest. On March 3, 1995 the director of the Congressional Task Force, Yossef Bodansky, issued an updated alert stating the terrorists planned to strike at "the heart of the U.S."
Twelve cities were placed on the potential target list because of the radical Islamic groups and terrorist networks already operating within those metropolitan areas. As a result, Oklahoma City made the list.
More importantly, the Task Force learned that the Middle Eastern terrorists had recruited two "lily whites" to carry out the bombing of an American federal building. In the lexicon of the intelligence community, the term lily white refers to individuals who have no criminal history and no obvious ties to Middle Eastern terrorist organizations. McVeigh, a decorated Gulf War veteran and Nichols, a farmer and former soldier, both fit that criterion.
The 1995 Task Force warnings were generated from multiple intelligence sources in several Middle Eastern countries over a period of eighteen months prior to Oklahoma City bombing. Information was also gleaned from terrorist conferences which took place in the fall of 1994 and early 1995 in which Tehran's overriding desire to strike inside the "Great Satan" was unveiled. Osama bin Laden attended several of those conferences.
There was ample evidence that an international terrorism offensive, sponsored by Iran and Syria, was about to be launched inside the United States sometime after the start of the Iranian New Year on March 21, 1995.
However, at no time did I uncover any evidence that would indicate that law enforcement had enough information to stop the bomb. They had no idea that the plan involved a Ryder truck and the Murrah Building at 9:00 AM on April 19. They only knew a general time frame and that a United States federal installation was the likely target. The lily whites were simply impossible to isolate and track in time to prevent the impending tragedy.
FBI refused to investigate
By now, many of you are asking, if the case I have presented in The Third Terrorist is indeed true, then why hasn't the FBI arrested these Middle Eastern suspects? One possibility is that this information innocently slipped through the cracks of a massive federal investigation. However, I cannot explain why the FBI flatly refused to take receipt of this information in 1997 when I offered twenty-two witness statements and hundreds of pages of corroborative documentation implicating Iraqi nationals in the Murrah Building bombing.
Officials with the DOJ told my lawyer, and later confirmed to Fox News, that they did not did not want any more "documents for discovery" that they would be compelled by law to surrender to the defense teams for McVeigh and Nichols.
In 1999, I returned to the Bureau, and a very courageous FBI agent, Dan Vogel, took custody of the twenty-two witness affidavits, and passed them up the chain of command to the legal department at the Oklahoma City field office.
From there - the documents simply vanished.
They were never turned over to the defense teams, and there was no attempt to prove or disprove veracity of the witnesses' testimonies. Not witness was called or questioned.
To this day the Department of Justice and FBI refuse to clear the man identified as the third terrorist of suspicion in deadliest terrorist attack in 20th century America. My meticulous research into the Iraqi soldier's whereabouts for the morning of April 19 proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he has no alibi.
Why has the FBI never even questioned Hussain Al-Hussaini and his Middle Eastern cohorts - I am at a loss to explain.
That is a question that should be posed to the former administration and the handful of people who were responsible for investigating and prosecuting the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building.
Iraq War Justified
The Oklahoma City bombing, if orchestrated by an Iraqi hit squad operating under state sponsorship by Iran and Syria, would undoubtedly constitute an act of war against the United States. Given what I have discovered about the Iraqi/Al Qaeda links to the April 19, 1995 bombing, I applaud and salute the United States military for its tremendous courage and sacrifice in ousting Saddam Hussein.
How many more Americans would have been marked for death had the U.S. military not invaded Iraq and overthrown such a bloodthirsty broker of terror? I believe that our fallen soldiers have not died in vain to end the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that have not yet been found, but to save Americans from another widespread slaughter of innocents like April 19.
About the Author
In 1986, Jayna Davis graduated at the top of her class from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Broadcast Journalism. During her 12-year career as a television reporter, Jayna worked as a videotape editor, producer, news anchor, general assignments and investigative reporter. She entered the broadcast industry at KXII-TV in Sherman, Texas, then moved eastward to KLTV in Tyler, where she was recognized statewide for her achievements in general assignments and medical reporting.
In 1991, Jayna reached a top 20 broadcast market when she joined the news team at KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, the third largest NBC affiliate in the country. In 1993, Jayna found her niche in Oklahoma City when KFOR-TV hired her as an investigative reporter. During her four years at KFOR, Jayna received several awards for investigative journalism.
Shortly after 9:02 AM on April 19, 1995, Jayna found herself staring at the smoldering shell of the Alfred P. Murrah Building with a photographer by her side recording the unspeakable bloodshed and carnage. The horrifying images were broadcast via satellite to the world, documenting what was deemed America's deadliest terrorist attack of the 20th century.
Within twenty-four hours, Channel 4's news director tapped Jayna to cover the FBI's international manhunt for the perpetrators and the infamous John Doe 2.
On June 7, 1995, KFOR-TV broadcast its first story in which the disgruntled Gulf War veteran, Timothy McVeigh, was identified drinking beer with a former Iraqi soldier in an Oklahoma City tavern. During the past nine years, Jayna has compiled a comprehensive and compelling investigative dossier, which unveils the Middle East's hand in the Oklahoma bombing. The evidence raises the disturbing question: did 4-19 sound the alarm that went unheeded?
Jayna is arguably the only journalist in the country who has dedicated years of intense research into the Middle Eastern connection to the 1995 terrorist strike on the Murrah Building. In 2001, she founded a non-profit corporation, Journalists' Committee for Justice, Inc, which has carried on the mission to seek justice for those who perished in America's heartland. On April 15, 2004, WND Books/Thomas Nelson Publishers released her explosive new book, The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing.