An Oklahoma University student who killed himself by detonating a bomb strapped to his body outside a packed stadium over the weekend was a “suicide bomber” in possession of “Islamic jihad” materials, according to a new report.
Joel Henry Hinrichs III, 21, an engineering major at the school blew himself up outside OU’s football stadium during Saturday night’s game against Kansas State. Doug Hagmann, a seasoned investigator, told WND he was informed by multiple reliable law-enforcement sources familiar with the investigation into the incident that authorities recovered a “significant amount” of “jihad” materials, as well as Hinrichs’ computer.
Hagmann also said those same sources indicated police and federal agents “had pulled additional explosives from [Hinrichs'] house,” including triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, “homemade explosive [that is] very potent but relatively easily manufactured.”
TATP was also used in the July mass transit bombings in London, CNN reported, and was used by attempted bomber Richard Reid, who packed his shoes with the compound in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy a U.S.-bound American Airlines flight in December 2001.
The confiscated jihad documents “referenced bomb-making manuals and that type of thing,” Hagmann said, who added Hinrichs’ apartment in Norman, Okla., is “located near the Islamic Society.”
A phone at the Islamic Society of Norman went unanswered yesterday. Also, there was no response to an e-mail inquiry by press time.
Hagmann reported his findings on his website.
WorldNetDaily reported earlier that officials carted away a huge cache of explosives from Hinrichs’ apartment. Police were overheard telling residents it would take “several trips and could take up to 24 hours” to remove it all, according to the Daily Oklahoman. A canister trailer used for detonating or transporting potentially explosive material was being used to haul items away.
University officials have shrugged off reports Hinrichs was anything other than a disturbed student who acted alone.
“We know that he has had what I would call emotional difficulties in the past. There is certainly no evidence at this point which points to any other kind of motivation other than his personal problems,” said University President David Boren over the weekend.
In a joint statement, the FBI’s Oklahoma bureau chief, Salvador Hernandez, U.S. Attorney John Richter and OU Police Chief Elizabeth Woolen said, “At this point, we have no information that suggests that there is any additional threat posed by others related to this incident.”
FBI spokesman Gary Johnson told WND he couldn’t add anything, other than the investigation is ongoing.
His agency has been joined in the investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the Joint Terrorism Task Force; the University of Oklahoma Police Department; the Norman Police Department; and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.
Official accounts say Hinrichs detonated an explosive device while seated on a bench outside Cross Hall, a university science building about 100 yards from the stadium.
Some 84,000 people were inside watching the game at the time of the explosion. Officials say it did not appear Hinrichs attempted to enter the venue.
While it is too soon to know whether the Hinrichs incident was isolated or part of a larger scheme to launch suicide attacks in the U.S. similar to those in Great Britain earlier this year and those that are a regular occurrence in Iraq, experts believe it is only a matter of time before such attacks do occur in U.S. cities.
Bruce Newsome, a terrorism researcher at the Rand Corporation, a noted think tank, told ABC News shortly after the London bombings the four-man plot carried out there is a “likely model for future U.S. attacks.”
He said the four men used for the attack were clean: no criminal records, did not show up on any terrorism watch lists, and were not part of any extremist activities – like Hinrichs.
That makes tracking such attackers virtually impossible, Newsome pointed out.
And, in Iraq last week, a woman pushed her way into a line of men at an army recruitment center before detonating a bomb she carried. The last time women were used in suicide attacks was during the war in Iraq in 2003, when two women in a car – one of them pregnant – detonated a device, killing three soldiers, the BBC reported.