January 11, 2004
Is al Qaeda recruitment of U.S. soldiers linked to OKC Bombing?
Editor's Note: This is an analysis based on strictly circumstantial evidence and does not claim to prove the connection suggested. Readers are strongly reminded that conclusive proof of an al Qaeda link to the Oklahoma City bombing is still lacking.
Just one month after an al Qaeda recruiter was ordered to contact former U.S. servicemen, both Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols relocated to areas where Osama bin Laden's terror network was actively recruiting. In December 1992, al Qaeda operative Clement Rodney Hampton-El was given a list of former U.S. servicemen to recruit as volunteers by a Saudi-linked cleric based in the Philippines, according to testimony in his 1995 trial. (previous story)
Shortly after Hampton-El was given the list, McVeigh quit his job and moved to Florida, where al Qaeda was creating a new financing network. In January 1993, Nichols traveled to the Philippines, where al Qaeda had extensive training and financial operations already in place, and stayed there for 30 to 60 days. The recruiting program offers an entirely new context in which to consider long-disputed claims of Middle Easten involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing.
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