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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Analysis: Nichols' New Claim About Roger Moore Ties Back To South Florida

By J.M. Berger

For the first time, Terry Nichols has gone on the record to accuse a third conspirator of taking part in the Oklahoma City bombing, a Florida gun dealer who sold weapons in close proximity to an early al Qaeda sleeper cell in Fort Lauderdale during the early 1990s.

Terry Nichols claimed in a letter that Roger E. Moore, aka Bob Miller, helped provide explosive material to be used in the bombing, according to the L.A. Times.

Moore helped obtain explosives used in the 1995 truck bombing, Nichols wrote. The bomb-making components recovered several weeks ago from beneath the former Nichols home in Herington, KS, contain Moore's fingerprints, Nichols wrote.

Moore denied the allegation in a next-day report by the LA Times, countering that Nichols "hated everyone."


Moore, who also used the alias Bob Miller, worked the gun show circuit and ran an ammunition business called The American Assault Co., sometimes referred to as "The Candy Store." Moore also owned a home and a boat-repair business in Fort Lauderdale, where he purportedly first met Timothy McVeigh.

Moore claimed he was robbed at gunpoint in November 1994, a crime which state and federal prosecutors sought to pin on Nichols. An investigation by Mark Hamm in his book, In Bad Company, suggested the Moore robbery might have been performed by members of a white supremacist bank robbery gang.

It's difficult to evaluate the new charge leveled against Moore by Nichols. If Moore was an accomplice to the Oklahoma City bombing, significant portions of the official story would have to be thrown out, including the accepted account of the robbery. Some major inconsistencies in OKC trial testimony and evidence would arise if Nichols' allegation proved true.

In the letter to the LA Times, and in reported conversations with fellow inmate Gregory Scarpa, Nichols said Moore's fingerprints would be found on the bomb-making components buried beneath the Herington house. The FBI refused to comment to the LA Times on whether fingerprints had been found.

The presence of Moore's fingerprints would not automatically implicate him as an accessory (the items could have been stolen), but the fingerprints would definitely indicate that the FBI's original investigation and the official story of the OKC bombing was substantially incomplete.


At the end of December 1992, Timothy McVeigh abruptly quit his last known job as a security guard in Lockport, NY, according to numerous sources. He paid off a large gambling debt and drove directly to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he took part in a gun show in early January, according to trial testimony and related documents.

Foreign terrorists used the gun show, which was held at the Fort Lauderdale Armory, to buy weapons on at least one occasion. A gun dealer working the Armory show tried to broker a deal with Irish Republican Army terrorists in 1999, according to court records and media reports.

The gun show site was just a 15-minute drive from an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Plantation, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.

al Qaeda terrorist operatives opened an office of the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) in Plantation in February 1992. Both McVeigh and Moore were in the Fort Lauderdale area throughout February.

The Benevolence office was registered in the name of Adham Hassoun, a Palestinian who currently faces multiple terrorism charges as well as a single charge of possessing an illegal firearm. The federal indictment does not indicate how Hassoun obtained the weapon.

The Fort Lauderdale al Qaeda cell actively sought to recruit American citizens, according to FBI affadavits and media reports. Hassoun is accused of recruiting alleged al Qaeda dirty bomber Jose Padilla as a terrorist during this period.

Padilla worked at a Taco Belle five minutes from the BIF office, according to the Washington Post (related story). Padilla visually matches an FBI sketch of John Doe 2, a suspect in the Oklahoma City bombing later disavowed by the FBI. There is no concrete evidence linking Padilla to the OKC conspiracy, but there are some circumstantial possibilties.

Benevolence was originally founded overseas by two wealthy Saudis, Sheikh Adel Abdul Jalil Batterjee (related story) and Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden and a top al Qaeda financier. (related story, related documents). Khalifa was in U.S. custody at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing (related story).

Hassoun was also allegedly linked to the New York City-based terrorist sleeper cell that accomplished the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a failed series of simultaneous truck bombings scheduled for later that year, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (related story).

Led by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, members of the NYC cell helped recruit U.S. military veterans as terrorists. Recruiters were also involved in purchasing guns, survivalist manuals and explosive components at gun shows and through the black market, according to court records.

Nichols accused Moore of being an FBI informant, according to a prison informant's report released last month (related story). The FBI did not confirm to the LA Times whether Moore's fingerprints were on the material taken from Nichols' basement.

Rumours have swirled for years that Moore (or his girlfriend, Karen Anderson) might have been FBI informants. Nichols may very well believe Moore was an informant, regardless of whether that belief has any merit.


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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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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