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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Monday, November 20, 2006

Terry Nichols Claims New Evidence in Oklahoma City Bombing; Asks Meeting With Attorney Jesse Trentadue

By J.M. Berger

Terry Nichols has asked to meet with a Salt Lake City attorney investigating the Oklahoma City bombing.

In a letter to attorney Jesse Trentadue, Nichols wrote out a detailed affidavit in which he claims to have evidence of "others unknown" -- additional conspirators in the Oklahoma City bombing who have not been brought to justice.

"I do have substantial evidence and information that clearly reveals the involvement of 'others unknown' and federal government coverup," Nichols wrote.

Click here for a copy of the affidavit and letter.

Only Nichols and convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh have ever been brought to trial for conspiring to bomb the Alfred E. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. Persistent and credible reports have identified several individuals within U.S. white supremacist groups who may have played a role in assisting the bombing.

In the new letter, dated Nov. 8, Nichols made several claims about his conditions of imprisonment and attempts to disclose information about the Oklahoma City bombing. His claims could not immediately be verified, but several of Nichols' statements match known facts from other sources.

Nichols claimed his attempts to communicate with journalists have been blocked, and that his mail and phone calls have been intercepted. INTELWIRE and an outside party attempted to correspond with Nichols in 2005, but received no response. INTELWIRE sent Nichols with a Freedom of Information Act privacy waiver and a request for his signature. A signed waiver would preclude the FBI from withholding documents concerning Nichols on the basis of alleged privacy concerns.

Nichols said that on Sept. 8, 2004, he mailed a letter to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft stating that he had information concerning additional conspirators in the Oklahoma City bombing. According to Nichols, the letter was never acknowledged.

Nichols then turned to fellow inmates Emilio Brava and Gregory Scarpa, who said he could get a message to outside investigators. Scarpa, a former mob boss, has also served as an FBI informant, most notably informing on Ramzi Yousef while both were incarcerated in a New York prison. Although Scarpa did pass Nichols' material on to investigators Stephen Dresch and Angela Clemente, Nichols grew to distrust Scarpa, who was also cooperating with the FBI.

The information given to Scarpa eventually led to an FBI search of Nichols' former home in Herington, Kansas. Materials found in the house -- which the FBI neglected to find in 1995 -- closely matched the information provided by Nichols. (External link)

Nichols also invited Trentadue to meet with him. Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney, began investigating the Oklahoma City bombing after the death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, in federal custody on Aug. 21, 1995.

Kenneth Trentadue's death was initially declared a suicide by prison officials, but the family discovered signs of numerous injuries when preparing him for burial. The family was awarded more than $1 million after winning a wrongful death suit against the government.

Jesse Trentadue's lawsuit over the FBI's disclosure stems from a belief that his brother was killed because of his resemblance to Richard Lee Guthrie, a white supremacist and bank robber who has been credibly linked to the Oklahoma City bombing by numerous reports, including those from the Associated Press, J.D. Cash of the McCurtain Gazette and In Bad Company, a 2001 book by criminology professor Mark S. Hamm.

Guthrie was later apprehended by authorities. Just days before he was scheduled to testify against one of his accomplices in the bank robbery gang, Guthrie was found dead of a purported suicide in his cell. His alleged means of suicide was hanging, the same cause of death originally cited by prison officials for Kenneth Trentadue.

INTELWIRE has obtained documents related to the death of Guthrie under the Freedom of Information Act. Click here to view those documents.

Nichols wrote to Trentadue earlier this year. Click here for a INTELWIRE coverage and the full text of the letter.

Trentadue obtained several documents from the FBI after a lawsuit resolved in his favor earlier this year. Click here for more information on those documents.

Click here for a full index of INTELWIRE's coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing investigation.

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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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