Oklahoma City investigative reporter Jayna Davis has come up with some interesting information that I think should be more closely examined. Her book entitled The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing offers up the following scenario. According to Davis...
"In detailed affidavits, these witnesses confidently identified eight specific Middle Eastern men, the majority of whom were former Iraqi soldiers, colluding with the Oklahoma City bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
"All of these suspects immigrated to the United States following the Persian Gulf War, ostensibly seeking political asylum from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. However, my investigation revealed they were, in fact, false defectors - not outspoken dissidents as they had claimed.
"This cadre of 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 expatriate.
The 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 1990s, the Palestinian property owner pleaded guilty to federal insurance fraud and served time in the penitentiary. Court records revealed that the FBI once suspected the ex-convict of having ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
"Six months prior to the bombing, the Palestinian felon hired a group of self-professed 'defectors' from the Iraqi army to do maintenance work on 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 cheered deliriously, exuberantly pledging their allegiance to the now deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, vowing they would 'die for Saddam.'
"Nearly two dozen Oklahomans have signed sworn affidavits in which they accuse these ardent Saddam supporters and ex-enemy combatants of aiding and abetting McVeigh and Nichols during critical stages of the bombing plot.
"The most incriminating testimony centered around one man - Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini. Al-Hussaini 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 government's profile sketch of the elusive suspect.
"Witnesses identified this Iraqi immigrant socializing with McVeigh at an Oklahoma City nightclub prior to the bombing. An Oklahoma City gas station attendant also fingered Al-Hussaini as the customer who paid one hundred dollars cash to fill up a large Ryder truck with diesel fuel (the key chemical component used in Ryder truck bomb) on eve of the bombing - April 18, 1995.
"The next morning, a maintenance man working at the motel located adjacent to the service station observed what was very likely the same Ryder truck emanating an odorous stench of diesel, yet according to the witness, the gas cap bore a warning sticker which read: 'Unleaded Fuel Only.'
"Two downtown joggers named the Iraqi soldier as the dark-haired, olive-skinned male they observed timing his run at a breathless pace from the Murrah Building one block east shortly before daybreak on April 19.
"Moreover, several Oklahoma City residents claimed to have seen Al-Hussaini climbing into the cab of a Ryder truck that reeked of diesel fuel at a local motel an hour before the explosion. The witnesses placed Timothy McVeigh behind the wheel of that moving van as it pulled off the lot and headed toward downtown.
"Furthermore, the Iraqi soldier was positively identified sitting in the passenger seat of the Ryder truck a few blocks north of the Murrah Building at 8:30 a.m., stepping out of that truck at ground zero directly in front of the ill-fated federal complex moments before the massive fertilizer/fuel oil bomb detonated, and speeding away from downtown in the driver's seat of a brown Chevrolet pickup pursued by the FBI in an official teletype that targeted foreign suspects seen fleeing the bomb site.
"Five witnesses independently fingered Al-Hussaini and several of his Middle Eastern associates as frequent visitors at an Oklahoma City motel in the months, weeks, days, and hours leading up to 9:02 a.m. on April 19. On numerous occasions the Arab subjects were seen in the company of Timothy McVeigh, and during a few rare instances, associating with Terry Nichols.
"More significantly, detailed interviews with key witnesses proved conclusively that the man whom witnesses named as the nefarious 'third terrorist' had no provable alibi for the critical hours of April 19.
"Colonel Patrick Lang, a Middle East expert who formerly served as the chief of human intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency, determined that the Iraqi soldier's military tattoo and immigration file indicated that he was likely a trusted member of Saddam Hussein's elite Republican Guard before being recruited into the elite Unit 999 of the Estikhabarat, more commonly known as the Iraqi Military Intelligence Service.
"Before the 2003 Iraq War, Unit 999 was headquartered in Salman Pak, southeast of Baghdad, and was tasked with clandestine operations at home and overseas. Several defense and intelligence analysts, with whom I consulted, concurred with Colonel Lang's conclusions.
"Soon after that fateful day in 1995, Al-Hussaini moved to Massachusetts 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 deadly trek to incinerate the World Trade Center, the Iraqi national began suffering panic attacks about his airport job and sought psychiatric hospitalization. When his therapist asked why he was experiencing sudden and intense trepidation about working at Boston Logan, the patient replied, 'If something happens there, I will be a suspect.'
"I later learned that during this same time frame, Al-Hussaini was residing with two former Iraqi Gulf War veterans who provided food-catering services to the commercial airlines at the Boston airport. In the wake of the suicide hijackings of 2001, law enforcement speculated that food services workers might have planted box cutters aboard the doomed flights.
"Hussain Al-Hussaini's uncanny foreknowledge of a possible dire event slated to take place at Boston Logan Airport, the point of origin for Al-Qaeda's murderous rampage of 2001, just grazes the surface of the disturbing nexus I have uncovered between 4-19 and 9-11. Was the Oklahoma bombing the silver bullet that could have prevented Black Tuesday?
"To this day, the Justice Department has refused my requests to officially clear the Iraqi soldier whom multiple witnesses identified as the mysterious third terrorist who delivered the weapon of mass destruction to the intersection of 5th and Harvey Streets on that dreadful spring morning.
"My meticulous research into Hussain Al-Hussaini's whereabouts for the morning of April 19 roundly discredits his publicly espoused alibi. Why the FBI has never questioned Hussain Al-Hussaini or his Middle Eastern cohorts, I am at a loss to explain. That question should be posed to the former administration and the handful of officials who were charged with investigating and prosecuting the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. "
At one time, Alhussaini would sue Davis and the station she worked for (KFOR) and filed a suit against them in state court for libel. However, "KFOR and Davis stood by their reports and countered with witnesses who contradicted Alhussaini's assertions, including the (handwritten) time sheet, which was labeled a fabrication. Alhussaini... withdrew the suit the day before a judge was scheduled to rule on KFOR's motion for summary judgment.... Alhussaini then refiled his libel suit in federal court. Once again attorneys for KFOR and Davis filed for a dismissal. On Nov. 17, 1999, U.S. District Judge Tim Leonard granted their motion. In his ruling, Leonard stated that all the facts in Davis' report were either true or statements of opinion, and did not libel the plaintiff." Link
The Padilla and Alhussaini theories are not the only one's out there. Co-conspirator Terry Nichols has alleged to have been involved with the Philippine jihadist organization Abu Sayyaf through his mail-order Philippino bride. The widow of Abu Sayyaf's co-founder, Edwin Angeles, who was named Elmina, was lingering on her deathbed. "Kenneth Timmerman of Insight had broached the existence of an audiotaped interview with Philippine authorities, given by the dying 27-year old widow of Edwin Angeles. Angeles' widow, Elmina, had repeated Angeles' contention that he had met with Nichols and (Ramsey) Yousef, but more revealingly, she was now contending - in the words of her deceased mate - that Yousef was acting on behalf of Saddam Hussein. In other words, Yousef - by this time definitively tagged as an al-Qaida operative - was doing double duty as an Iraqi agent. Elmina died within days of her interview, felled by liver disease." Link
All of this points to a scenario in which it is quite plausible to believe that the entire plot McVeigh and Nichols were tried for was just a bit too complicated for a couple of mere "home-grown" terrorists who went at it alone. The entire story may never be fully known or made public.
I find it absolutely amazing that there are those in the US and elsewhere who argue with complete clarity that they would like to hang this entire mass murder on alleged right-wing extremists if for no other reason than the particular explanation fits a certain template . Meanwhile, we still can't say for sure who killed John F. Kennedy yet and that was back in 1963, 47 long years ago.