A congressional hearing into an alleged foreign connection to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing has been canceled because key witnesses are unwilling to testify or cannot be tracked down, says the California Republican leading the investigation.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher told WND a report will be issued, instead, by the end of the year with findings and conclusions from a probe that took the congressman and two staff members to the Philippines to follow leads suggesting a tie between convicted Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols and al-Qaida operatives.
“We’ve had trouble getting any commitments from potential witnesses to come to Washington to participate in a hearing,” Rohrabacher said.
He also pointed to limited resources, with the help of just two staffers from the House panel he chairs, the International Relations’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
“Plus,” Rohrabacher said, “we have not received the full-fledged cooperation of various government agencies,” which he declined to name.
But Rohrabacher called the investigation “worthwhile” and said that while there are no bombshell findings at this point, he’s not finished.
“We are continuing to investigate for the next 30 days and are tracking down witnesses,” he said. “So I wouldn’t rule out that there will be some breakthrough information that is explosive in nature.”
The investigation to this point, he said, “certainly confirms that the public skepticism is justified, that not all the information is out about the Oklahoma City bombing.”
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. (Photo: Orange County Register)
The congressman conducted his probe without the direct help of investigative reporter Jayna Davis, author of “The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing.” Rohrabacher credits Davis’ book as a major catalyst for his investigation. The author asserts Nichols and Timothy McVeigh were not the lone conspirators but part of a greater scheme involving Islamic terrorists and at least one provable link to Iraq. The explosion April 19, 1995, at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people, including 19 children, and injured another 684.
But Davis, who previously criticized Rohrabacher’s investigation as a “sham,” wrote a letter in July to the congressman’s Oversight and Investigations panel, declaring she would not participate in the hearing for a number of reasons, including concern that he gave equal credence to a “debunked” theory involving neo-Nazis.
Rohrabacher also has followed the leads of investigators who believe McVeigh was connected to a German national in the U.S. illegally in 1995, Andreas Carl Strassmeier, and domestic white supremacists at a compound in Oklahoma called Elohim City.
Nichols, in fact, claimed this month he has information about the complicity of white supremacists, issuing an affidavit from his cell at the super-maximum security prison in Florence, Colo. In the 10-page handwritten document, he boasts of “substantial evidence and information that clearly reveals” the involvement of others beside himself and McVeigh and of a “federal government coverup.”
Terry Nichols (FBI photo)
But he claims federal authorities, from the Bureau of Prisons to the Department of Justice, have prevented him from providing his information to media, including CBS’ “60 Minutes” and MSNBC’s Rita Cosby.
Rohrabacher, who visited the inmate last year, said he tried to get a meeting with Nichols during the current investigation but Nichols refused.
Partly for that reason, Rohrabacher said he takes Nichols’ claims about authorities blocking his message “with a grain of salt.”
He had “ample opportunity” to give that information to “a congressional investigator sympathetic to getting the whole story out,” Rohrabacher said.
Nichols has denied to Rohrabacher that his many trips to the Philippines were related to the Oklahoma City bombing.
Rohrabacher said that on his own Philippines visit, he spoke with national police and intelligence officers to follow up a claim by an al-Qaida-linked terrorist leader that Nichols met with Ramzi Yousef, a co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and convicted plotter in a plan to blow up a dozen airliners over the Pacific.
Yousef also is incarcerated at the Colorado super-max prison.
The claim of a meeting between Nichols and al-Qaida operatives was made by Edwin Angeles, co-founder of the Osama bin Laden-financed Philippines terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. Angeles, in a signed affidavit, said he met in Davao City on the Philippine island of Mindanao in 1991 with Nichols, Yousef and other co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The meeting, he said, included discussion of “bombing activities; providing firearms and ammo; training in bomb making and handling.”
Yousef was arrested in Pakistan in 1995 and extradited to the U.S. where he was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the airliner plot, dubbed “Operation Bojinka.” Yousef’s uncle is the senior al-Qaida leader and 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
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