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In Bombing At OU Stadium There Are More Questions Than Answers
Nebraska ^ | 10/10/2005 | Jack L Allen

Posted on 10/11/2005 6:44:58 AM PDT by JustaCowgirl

en days have passed since a 21-year-old University of Oklahoma engineering student was killed when a bomb he was carrying exploded 100 yards from the stadium where Oklahoma and Kansas State were playing football before a crowd of 84,000 – and there are still more questions than answers to exactly What? and Why?

As The Oklahoman said in its October 9 edition, the explosion “left Oklahomans wondering whether it was an individual suicide or if it was intended to be an act of terrorism targeting football fans October 1.”

There is evidence the student, Joel Hinrichs III of Colorado, was a loner with a history of depression. However, it is still a mystery why officials were so quick to call it a suicide -- before a thorough investigation could be initiated.

The explosion occurred about 7:30 p.m., during the second quarter of the KSU-OU game. During the fourth quarter OU President David Boren informed the media that a student had apparently committed suicide by blowing himself up near the stadium. He asked fans at the stadium to remain calm and said no one was in danger.

How could he have been so sure? The FBI was just then starting interviews with some of Hinrichs’ neighbors and acquaintances. And the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is said to be in charge, would not have had time to arrive in Norman.

It’s also a mystery why the mainstream media outside Oklahoma has pretty much ignored the incident.

Days later the news media was obsessed with the story of a possible terror threat in New York City; and cable news outlets spent far too much time on a bomb threat that briefly closed the Washington Monument. But there was almost nothing about an actual bombing – just 100 yards outside a college stadium full of people – that could have been a terrorism incident gone awry. Did newspaper editors and TV news producers – usually inquiring minds – buy into Boren’s quick dismissal of the event as just a troubled youth’s suicide and ensuing FBI statements that investigators had found no evidence to prove it was something other than a suicide?

My inquiring mind wonders if Boren, a former U. S. Senator with great political skills, sought to cool media interest and keep reporters and cameras out of Norman. Remember: His announcement came barely 90 minutes after the incident.

I first heard about the incident late Saturday, October 1, when it was a “breaking news” item on FOX News.

The report said a bomb exploded near OU’s stadium during a football game. There was a brief video showing police cars with lights flashing and an area cordoned off by yellow police tape.

I later checked the Omaha World-Herald’s online edition and found no mention of the incident. If over the next few days it was listed in the index for online OWH stories I missed it; it was not listed as a “headline” story.

FOX never mentioned it again. I forgot about it until October 4, when a Washington D.C. website reported the FBI was investigating the bombing.

The website questioned why Boren was passing it off as a suicide.

The next day a second Washington website reported the bombing after being e-mailed reports from Oklahoma media. It felt a lot of information was contradictory and wondered why the eastern media wasn’t on to the story. That was when I started to prepare the story that ran October 7 here in [To access that column, click here.]

Let’s go back to the beginning.

A longtime, good friend of mine and his wife, who reside in Oklahoma, were at the OU-KSU game. Their seats are in the northwest corner of the stadium, just ten rows up from the field. During the second quarter there was what my friend, Jim, called a “loud boom”. He said it “seemed like everyone in the stadium turned and looked in the direction of that noise. He said people seated near them all assumed it was thunder since early evening showers had been forecast.

Jim said police officers were moving toward the exits, but that fans didn’t pay any attention since officers often move around as they deal with unruly fans or medical emergencies.

As the second half began and people returned from concession stands and restrooms, word spread that police had sealed off exits on the stadium’s west side, although they opened at the end of the game.

There was apparently no public address announcement. Jim said he learned about the explosion during the fourth quarter while listening to play-by-play on his radio headsets, and Boren’s statement was reported.

It’s assumed word spread through the stadium as fans with radios informed people sitting around them. Jim said an area on the west side of the stadium was still cordoned off when they walked to their car after the game. There was little news about the explosion that night.

There have been conflicting reports about the explosion. One, which I repeated in my October 7 article, said the bomb was made of TATP, supposedly the same material used in the London subway bombings. I don’t know what TATP is, but The Oklahoman has since quoted the youth’s father, Joel Hinrichs Jr., of Colorado Springs, as saying the FBI told him the bomb was made of hydrogen peroxide. Some reports, upon which I based my story, quoted witnesses as saying Hinrichs was carrying a large backpack. Still another report said the explosives were strapped to his body. We won’t know for sure until the FBI or local coroner releases more information.

A bus driver told authorities, according to media reports, that shortly before the explosion he saw a young man fitting Hiurichs’ description stretched out on a bus stop bench staring into space.

Oklahoma media quoted witnesses who claimed they saw Hinrichs attempt to enter the stadium and run from the area when security guards tried to check his backpack, a report I included in my October 7 story.

OU now says the FBI reviewed security camera tapes from the stadium gates and “found nothing to indicate Hinrichs tried to enter”. Although no one said it did, the university has also said it did not sell an OU-KSU game ticket to Hinrichs.

The university also said it “had heard nothing to indicate” Hinrichs attempted to buy a ticket from scalpers outside the stadium. None of that, of course, means Hinrichs did not have a ticket to the game.

According to The Oklahoman, Norman Police confirmed that on September 26 Hinrichs attempted to buy aluminum nitrate from a Norman feed store. Aluminum nitrate was used in the bombs at the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 and the World Trade Center in 1993. Hinrichs’ comments to the store’s manager raised the suspicions of an off-duty police officer who was in the store and overheard the conversation. He wrote down the license plate number on Hinrichs’ car. Hinrichs died before a formal investigation could be made.

So far, the FBI has not identified the type of explosives found in Hinrichs’ apartment.

FBI agents questioned Hinrichs’ neighbors shortly after the October 1 explosion and searched his apartment on October 2, removing the cache of explosives and what The Oklahoman called “other material”. Hinrichs’ building and three neighboring buildings in the university-owned apartment complex were cordoned off by police until the explosives were removed.

An Internet news magazine is reporting that the search warrant used to search Hinrichs’ apartment has been sealed by a federal court at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice. If true, that raises serious questions.

The magazine quotes a Bob Troester, identified as an assistant U.S. attorney in Oklahoma City, as saying to a reporter: “You can draw whatever you like. We don’t comment on any sealed indictment.” The magazine wonders what he meant. Did he simply misspeak, meaning to say “warrant”? If he did mean there’s a “sealed indictment” that would mean that living people are about to be charged with a crime.

Speculation is running wild in Oklahoma (and at some Internet websites) that Hinrichs was involved with Muslim students from foreign countries, that he probably did intend to blow himself up inside the stadium but was deterred by the presence of security guards, that after leaving the stadium he either detonated the bomb to kill himself or it went off accidentally.

Hinrichs’ roommate, first reported to be a Pakistani, which I included in my October 7 story, has also been identified as a Palestinian. He and three other Muslim students were taken into custody shortly after the explosion. They were questioned and released.

I also wrote October 7 that an Oklahoma City television station reported that Hinrichs had been attending the same Norman mosque attended by convicted 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. However, a number of Muslim students and an Arab professor have since denied ever seeing Hinrichs at the mosque.

The day after the explosion, the FBI said it “has no information that suggests that there is any additional threat posed by others related to this incident.”

The FBI said on October 4 that it “had found no known link between Hinrichs and any terrorist or extremist organization or activities.” On October 6 OU President Boren said authorities “have so far found no evidence of a conspiracy” and cautioned the university community against “any rush to judgment based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.”

Joel Hinrichs Jr. said his son had been treated previously for severe depression and dropped out of OU in 2003-2004. Classmates said the young man was a loner, dressed strangely and seemed concerned recently about his grades.

The dead student’s father added that his son had a fascination with explosives; that at the age of 13 or 14 made a bomb out of match heads and a tube. He also used to buy artillery shells on ebay.

However, Hinrichs Jr. also told The Oklahoman he had not observed any suicidal tendencies in his son. In fact, he added, in the last e-mail he received from his son on September 14, the young man anticipated getting a Subaru the elder Hinrichs was offering to him.

We may never know for sure what happened. Or why.

Suicide usually occurs in private, but Oklahoma mental health professionals are now wondering if Hinrichs was motivated to bring attention to his death.

I have a theory – well, actually a question in my mind.

If Hinrichs was a convert to Islam and associated with militant Muslim extremists in a terrorist attack at a Midwest university, it would not take the FBI very long to put the pieces together. Because of his roommate, Hinrichs was likely acquainted with Muslim students, some of whom could have had ties to a terrorist group. I wonder if they knew about his interest – and apparent expertise -- in explosives; and if they learned he was depressed and suicidal, whether they might have befriended the troubled youth, who had trouble making friends, and manipulated him into committing suicide in a big way – inside a crowded football stadium. I wonder if, as he approached the stadium, his conscience caused him to have second thoughts, he turned away, stretched out on the bus bench to think it over, and either killed himself or died when the bomb detonated accidentally.

The FBI left itself a lot of wiggle room by simply saying it has “not found anything” or “has no evidence” that it might have been more than a suicide.

Even Boren has backed off from his initial insistence that it was an “individual suicide” and, because Oklahoma law allows only a coroner to make that determination, later clarified his statement to “individual death”. And, as noted above, Boren has urged the university community to remain calm and not rush to judgment, as he recognizes the investigation has not been completed.

Meanwhile, the university announced that security will be increased at its football stadium.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Oklahoma
KEYWORDS: hinrichs; joelhinrichs; normanbomber; oklahoma; oubomber; oubombing; stadium
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To: Lizarde

I am leaning on the side of more. Now I see they are saying the NY subway threat was a hoax. We have an actual bombing incident and it doesn't get covered. Shocking!

21 posted on 10/11/2005 9:42:11 AM PDT by PhiKapMom
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Days before the bombing the bomber tried to buy ammonium nitrate at Ellison Feed Store here in Norman. Same thing used in the Murrah Bombing by McVeigh, Nichols, and their Arab enablers.

22 posted on 10/11/2005 9:45:22 AM PDT by PhiKapMom
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To: PhiKapMom

"Our local media has a lot off the record they can't report."I'm still thinking about a(very)possible link between H and the 2 ME males seen running from the explosion to the stadium area.I assume(fingers crossed)that the FBI and other agencies are looking into the possibility of a conspiracy,and not in cover-up(aka PC)mode.

23 posted on 10/11/2005 9:59:52 AM PDT by Thombo2
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Just a mistake, I think. It was ammonium nitrate.

24 posted on 10/11/2005 10:02:04 AM PDT by JustaCowgirl
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To: Thombo2

I do have faith in the US Attorneys office here in OKC.

25 posted on 10/11/2005 10:04:18 AM PDT by PhiKapMom
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To: timpad; PhiKapMom

It's sure as heck true that having suicidal tendencies and being depressed (if he was) doesn't rule out by any means that he was attempting to take some others with him.

That's why Boren's running around spouting off about how depressed this kid was and how this was 'just a suicide' was such an obvious smokescreen. I can't get over how utterly ludicrous that was, and how clearly it displays his enormous arrogance for him to think that people are going to believe that he could possibly know this kid's mindset and intentions.

I'd suppose that it's reasonable to assume that the psychology of most suicide bombers is off-center, and that many or most are people whose mindset makes them prone to commit suicide anyway. As you say, happy, well-adjusted people probably aren't willing to make that sacrifice, regardless of how radical their worldview is.

26 posted on 10/11/2005 10:12:44 AM PDT by JustaCowgirl
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To: JustaCowgirl

I guess I should add a /s marker.

Typo or just doesn't know? If it is a typo, I can live with it - but at 2 x in the piece, what else is off kilter?

Like the MSM would ever cover this anyway.

27 posted on 10/11/2005 10:26:54 AM PDT by ASOC (Insert clever tagline here: _______)
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To: hoosiermama; hispanarepublicana; PhiKapMom; indcons; mplsconservative; investigateworld; ...


28 posted on 10/11/2005 11:51:53 AM PDT by indcons (Let the Arabs take care of their jihadi brothers this time around (re: Paki earthquake))
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You caught that too...There is a variety known as aluminized anfo with added aluminum powder for a little extra zest, but iirc, it was more expensive than it was worth for most applications. It may still be used in mining.

The writer professed ignorance of TATP, even though that is an easy lookup on the web.

Apparently, the desire to remain ignorant overcame any journalistic capacity for research.

29 posted on 10/11/2005 12:01:36 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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Just heard on 930AM out of OKC that MSM are now here in the local area looking to do stories on this as they are even finding the silence defeaning.

BTW the OU Daily editorial -- people think Boren had a hand in writing it -- not something a journalist would write. And to think he is a lawyer? Not a very good one if you ask me.

30 posted on 10/11/2005 12:03:08 PM PDT by PhiKapMom
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To: JustaCowgirl
"OU says Muslim student committed suicide"

I didnt know he was a "Muslim student." When did that become fact?

31 posted on 10/11/2005 12:04:34 PM PDT by texianyankee
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To: Smokin' Joe

I think those two words "remain ignorant" are the operative words of this investigation.

32 posted on 10/11/2005 12:04:38 PM PDT by PhiKapMom
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To: Smokin' Joe
"Apparently, the desire to remain ignorant overcame any journalistic capacity for research."

Say what folks may about Coast-to-Coast AM and George Noory (Art Bell's old show), George and his callers have discussed this at length...

33 posted on 10/11/2005 12:08:43 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum.)
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To: JustaCowgirl
>In Bombing At OU Stadium There Are More Questions Than Answers

Well, when these people
investigate a case, they
don't always upload

their current theories
and leads to the internet!
Let the cops be cops!

34 posted on 10/11/2005 12:09:23 PM PDT by theFIRMbss
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AMMONIUM nitrate. Aluminum nitrate would burn slowly, i believe.

35 posted on 10/11/2005 12:11:04 PM PDT by Safetgiver (Noone spoke when the levee done broke, Blanco cried and Nagin lied.)
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To: PhiKapMom

Can you elaborate on Boren's "past history"?

36 posted on 10/11/2005 12:15:59 PM PDT by sarasota
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To: PhiKapMom

Just got in.....Mark Davis, WBAP here in Dallas, was all over this story this morning during the 11am hour. FINALLY!

He's not buying Borens spin and referenced bloggers and as sources for information.

37 posted on 10/11/2005 12:20:26 PM PDT by Jrabbit (Kaufman County, Texas)
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BTW, don't forget the head-on collision with a tanker on the 7 Mile Bridge in the Keys that occured last month. Seemed odd to me at the time. Most folks on Highway 1 drive pretty carefully, especially going over the bridges. Didn't say who went over the line, but the bridge did suffer extensive damage.

38 posted on 10/11/2005 12:30:37 PM PDT by not2worry (What goes around comes around!)
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To: PhiKapMom
Hi, PhiKapMom...What's the skinny on Boren that was going around this summer, if you can elaborate?

And, I may have missed it, but I haven't seen any mention of his mother or any siblings. Have you come across anything?
39 posted on 10/11/2005 12:55:03 PM PDT by hummingbird (21st Century Newsreporting - "Don't get me started!")
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To: JustaCowgirl
about how depressed this kid was and how this was 'just a suicide' was such an obvious smokescreen.

Yep. Kinda like dismissing the impact of a bullet because the bullet is made of dull ol' lead instead of nice shiny stainless steel. There's a hole either way.

Has anyone asked Boren why a depressed "just-a-suicide" would go to the trouble of constructing a bomb to off himself with, rather that just swallow pills or turn on the gas?

I'd be interested in seeing the resulting facial expression when he heard the question. Undoubtedly, he'd say something along the lines of "it's impossible to determine the thinking of someone in this situation." Hilarity would then ensue once he's reminded he's been confidently doing precisely that since about two hours after the bomb went off.

Something just doesn't pass the sniff test here.
40 posted on 10/11/2005 12:55:33 PM PDT by timpad (For those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation suffices.)
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