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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Documents Expand View of Informants In Oklahoma City Bombing

By J.M. Berger

FBI and investigative documents filed in court yesterday shed new light on protected government informants within the militia and white supremacist movements around the time of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Attorney Jesse Trentadue is suing the FBI for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. His interest in the case was prompted by the apparent murder of his brother while in federal custody, which Trentadue believes is connected to the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing (previous story).

Monday's filing revealed new evidence implicating members of a bank robbery gang known as the Aryan Republican Army, which may have played a role in the attack (previous story).

Shawn Kenney, a member of the gang and an FBI informant, had his criminal record "actively erased," according to an affidavit by former Cincinatti police officer Matthew J. Moning, who investigated the ARA, also known as the Midwest Bank Robbers.

The FBI recovered devices used to build improvised explosives, including the explosives themselves, blasting camps and rocket launchers, among other items, Moning said.

Another FBI informant close to the ARA was Scott McCarthy, according to a 2006 Congressional probe of the bombing (story and full text). The report, written by U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, claimed the Justice Department was "unwilling to permit" investigators to speak with McCarthy.

Further questions were raised about McCarthy in a 2007 affidavit from Peter Langan, who along with Richard Lee Guthrie Jr. (story and documents) masterminded the Midwest Bank Robbers' $250,000 crime spree from 1993 through 1996.

Currently serving a federal prison sentence for his role in the ARA, Langan claimed in the affidavit that he suspected Guthrie, McCarthy and gang member Scott Stedeford were involved in the bombing, along with Mark Thomas, a Pennsylvania neo-Nazi.

In his 1997 trial for conspiracy related to the ARA's crime spree, Thomas claimed Guthrie told him that McCarthy "took out the Murrah building."

Thomas pled guilty and received a light sentence for his role in the bank robberies. He was released from prison on January 16, 2004. According to the Trentadue filing, Thomas is now also a protected federal witness.

Previous document releases revealed the existence of several federal informants who provided information related to the bombing (previous story).

INTELWIRE document requests under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed additional informants within the militia movement who were in a position to provide information about other figures linked to the bombing, including German national Andreas Strassmeir, a friend of the ARA who was security director at a white supremacist compound known as Elohim City (previous story).

One figure close to the bombing conspiracy was Roger Moore, an Arkansas gun dealer whom Terry Nichols has accused of being a government informant and an active participant in the bombing plot (story).

Included in the Monday filing was a memorandum on Moore prepared by a private investigator for Nichols' defense team. Entitled "The Enigma of Roger Moore," the lengthy document outlines a number of unanswered questions regarding Moore involvement with the OKC conspirators.

Officially, prosecutors argued during the trials of McVeigh and Nichols that Nichols had robbed Moore of guns and valuables in November 1994 and used the proceeds to fund the bombing conspiracy. Nichols, later found in possession of items stolen from Moore, later admitted to carrying out the robbery.

In November 2006, Nichols alleged that Moore was an FBI informant and that he had provided explosives to McVeigh for use in the bombing.

The investigator's document included in Monday's filing outlines a series of allegations concerning Moore's alleged involvement with the FBI, including some information from published accounts and some information which was not previously disclosed.

The document says a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette spoke with an informant who alleged Moore was involved in the Iran-Contra affair in South Florida during the mid-1980s. Several documents obtained by INTELWIRE also point to connections between various militia figures and Iran-Contra (story).

Moore was the subject of an ATF investigation into explosives trafficking in May 1989, according to the memorandum. The investigation involved 100 pounds of C-4 explosives. The case was "suddenly dropped at almost the same time it was initiated, without any explanation offered in the written reports," the document said.

The report also cited numerous inconsistencies and seeming contradictions in Moore's handling of the November 1994 robbery and his subsequent accounts of the incident.

The filing also includes a 2004 letter from Terry Nichols to Attorney General John Ashcroft outlining allegations against Roger Moore, a drawing by Nichols of discrepancies in descriptions of the bomb used in the Oklahoma City attack, and a memo recording a conversation with a worker at the Southern Poverty Law Center concerning intelligence about McVeigh's militia links.

The documents filed Monday include:

Memorandum and overview by Jesse Trentadue

FBI 302 interrogation of Kevin McCarthy

Terry Nichols 2004 letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft accusing Roger Moore of complicity in the bombing

Memorandum: The Enigma of Roger Moore

Affidavit of Matthew J. Moning

Affidavit of Peter Langan

Terry Nichols drawing of discrepancies in accounts of the bomb design used in Oklahoma City

1995 FBI teletype on OKC Bombing informants

1/16/96 memo describing information obtained from the Southern Poverty Law Center

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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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