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A class-action lawsuit was filed in district court in Washington, D.C., today alleging that Iraq, “in whole or in part,” planned and financed the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City nearly seven years ago.
“Plaintiffs assert that the entire plot was, in whole or in part, orchestrated, assisted technically and/or financially, and directly aided by agents of the Republic of Iraq,” said the suit, filed by public interest law firm Judicial Watch.
Federal officials have said the April 19, 1995, attack on the Murrah Building was committed by former Army vet Timothy McVeigh – who was executed June 11, 2001 – and accomplice Terry Nichols, now serving a life sentence for his role in the bombing.
The FBI has said the explosion, which destroyed nearly one-third of the building and killed 168 people, was the result of a huge ammonium nitrate-laden truck bomb parked in front of the building.
But according to the suit, plaintiffs say the OKC bombing “was an illegal continuation of the Persian Gulf War,” and that they and their loved ones “are … civilian casualties of [the] Gulf War. …”
“Plaintiffs further assert that the involvement and complicity of Iraq can be proven by both direct and circumstantial evidence,” the suit alleges.
Charles Key, former member of the Oklahoma legislature and a primary member of the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, said the suit had been in a “holding pattern” for some time. He said his committee was also involved in the suit.
“We knew as early as 1995 that Iraq was likely involved in the bombing,” Key told WorldNetDaily, based on “work done by Brad Edwards and Jayna Davis at the NBC affiliate in OKC.”
Also, Key said, attorney Stephen Jones “pursued a lot of this himself.” And, “as some of the points in our complaint show, there is a wealth of information that says Iraq was planning terrorist acts in our country for a long time.”
Larry Klayman, chairman and lead counsel of Judicial Watch, said the evidence against Iraq is strong.
“It’s time that someone took action against Iraq. Talk is cheap,” Klayman said, adding that Judicial Watch would be “developing more evidence” against Baghdad later.
The legal group says the suit was filed under terms enumerated in the Antiterrorism and Death Penalty Act of 1996, which addresses state-sponsored terrorism and has a specific provision for retroactive application.
“Judicial Watch and its clients contend that other individuals, in addition to Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were involved in the preparation for and execution of the attack on the Murrah Building,” said a statement issued by the group. “These individuals were operating as agents of the Republic of Iraq. …”
Klayman’s organization said reports from Philippine intelligence and law enforcement sources form the basis for much of the information contained in the lawsuit. Specifically, the suit details meetings between Nichols and Ramzi Youssef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, during Nichols’ travel to the Philippines between 1990 and 1994.
Additional evidence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveals Interpol’s efforts to apprehend two additional Oklahoma City bombing suspects and information in the agency’s files associating Youssef with the attack, Judicial Watch said.
“It’s time the whole story about the Oklahoma City bombing is revealed and that justice is done for the Iraqis’ state sponsorship of that brutal attack on American citizens,” Klayman said.
Local OKC attorney Mike Johnston is also acting as counsel in the suit, as is Jay Adkisson of Irvine, Calif.
“The survivors of the Murrah Building bombing and the people of Oklahoma City have waited a long time for the whole, unvarnished truth to come out concerning this horrific plot, and they won’t rest until that’s accomplished,” Johnston said in a statement released today.
In a separate interview, Johnston told WorldNetDaily he hoped the suit would bring “peace of mind” to the plaintiffs and the nation.
“We think there’s evidence out that that would be not only relavent to the lawsuit but have definite historical value, not only for public consumption but also for the peace of mind for the survivors,” he said.
Johnston added that he hadn’t heard from the Justice Department or the FBI regarding the suit. “This is a civil matter, and I think they’ll be reluctant to get involved – at least on any official basis,” he said.
The Justice Department did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The suit says that prior to the Gulf War, “Iraq had developed a covert network in the United States to acquire materials for weapons of mass destruction.” After the war, the suit alleges, “Iraq converted that network into organized terrorist cells,” some of which “were directly involved in” the OKC bombing.
The suit also alleges that Youssef set up a terrorist “base of operations” in the Philippines in 1994.
That may be significant, sources told WorldNetDaily, because of Nichols’ trips to the Philippines prior to the 1995 bombing.
“In the Philippines as part of ‘Project Bojinka,’ Ramzi Youssef, on behalf of Iraq, recruited conspirators to attempt to simultaneously bomb U.S. 747 aircraft over the Pacific,” the suit alleges. Delayed timers “with many similarities” to the Pam Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 were to be used, said the suit.
“Youssef also conceived of plans to highjack planes bound for the United States in order to dive them, in suicide attacks, into U.S. targets like CIA headquarters … a tactic later adopted by [al-Qaida terrorist group founder] Osama bin Laden,” the suit said.
“Plaintiffs assert that at some point … Youssef recruited a willing convert in the person of Terry Nichols, who witnesses say went to the Philippines seeking technical help in learning to build a bomb,” said the suit. “Meetings between Terry Nichols and Ramzi Youssef were witnessed by a Filipino government informant.”
Nichols made his last trip to the Philippines Nov. 22, 1994, after marrying a local 17-year-old Filipino girl.
Besides the plaintiffs, others believe the OKC bombing may have an Iraqi connection.
According to a “Washington Whispers” segment in the Oct. 29, 2001, issue of U.S. News & World Report, some top Defense Department officials believed McVeigh was an Iraqi agent.
“Some dismiss it as being akin to Elvis sightings, but a few top Defense officials think Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh was an Iraqi agent,” wrote magazine correspondent Paul Bedard.
“The theory stems from a never-before-reported allegation that McVeigh had allegedly collected Iraqi telephone numbers. Why haven’t we heard this before about the case of the executed McVeigh? Conspiracy theorists in the Pentagon think it’s part of a cover-up,” he wrote.
And David Schippers, counsel for the House-led impeachment effort against former President Clinton, also says he believes there is a Middle East connection to the bombing.
“I am thoroughly convinced that there was a dead-bang Middle Eastern connection in the Oklahoma City bombing,” he told TalkNetDaily host Geoff Metcalf during an Oct. 21, 2001, interview. “I think bin Laden was behind it. I think that there were Middle Eastern people on the scene running away.”
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