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Sunday, December 5, 2004

New OKC Overview Story Outlines al Qaeda Links

By J.M. Berger

Within hours of the Oklahoma City bombing, many observers of terrorist activity speculated that the attack may have been sponsored by Islamic extremists or other Middle Eastern interests.

When Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were arrested in the case, the media pendulum swung to the other extreme, dismissing such early speculation as the result of ethnic and religious bigotry. The U.S. government flatly stated that the attack had been carried out by domestic, right-wing American terrorists. The case, it seemed, was closed.

But new information continued to trickle out during the intervening years, and that trickle increased to a flood in the wake of the September 11 attack on America, which brought intense scrutiny of Islamic extremist "sleeper cells" operating on U.S. soil.

Based on this new information, there is good reason to re-examine our national assumptions about Oklahoma City. What follows is an all-new look at how the activities of the known Oklahoma City conspirators — McVeigh and Nichols — fit within an extremely dense and sprawling network of al Qaeda operatives known to be active in the U.S. during the early 1990s.

Everything you are about to read is documented in the public record, including court transcripts, FOIA documents, published accounts by credible authors and mainstream media reporting. There are no anonymous sources cited and no "secret files" referenced.

There are also no smoking guns... yet. Although years have passed since the OKC bombing, the real investigation has only just begun. This story provides the context to truly understand the historical setting of the OKC bombing, as we know it today. It is only the first step in uncovering the real story.

Click here for full story

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ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post

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Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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