Did the Federal Government Have Prior Knowledge of the Oklahoma City Bombing?

By Ian Williams Goddard


Evidence is overwhelming that federal authorities were aware that a terrorist event was going to take place in Oklahoma City before the bombing of the Murrah Building occurred. In fact, two law suits have been filed against the federal government on the behalf of bombing victims for failing to give warning to victims of the bombing.

In the first suit, attorney Richard Bieder will represent at least 44 victims.1 In the second suit, filed in the District Court of Oklahoma County (4/18/97), O.J. Simpson’s defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran will represent over 300 people who suffered losses in the bombing. About that suit the Associated Press reported:2

More than 300 people joined the lawsuit against the government. They claim the [ATF] had prior warning of the April 19, 1995 bombing and that officials of the day care center in the federal building knew or should have known about the attack.

Indeed, the shocking claim by victims and family members that the federal government had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing is supported by an overwhelming body of evidence.

Evidence of Prior Knowledge

The ABC program 20/20 recently reported (1/17/97) on its investigation into the claim that the federal government had prior knowledge of the Murrah Building bombing.3 The 20/20 program opened with the question asked by anchor Tom Jarriel: "What did authorities know or expect before the explosion that federal workers and the children arriving at the Murrah Building did not know or were not told?" Jarriel continued, stating that:

For seven months 20/20 has looked into just that question and we have found solid facts which tend to support... suspicions [of prior knowledge]. Our investigation uncovered eyewitnesses and government documents which show a lot of unusual activity was going on behind the scene shortly before the explosion occurred.

20/20 interviewed several eyewitnesses who saw the Oklahoma County Bomb Squad truck across the street from the Murrah Building shortly before the blast. The 20/20 investigation even discovered and displayed several local publications in which witnesses reported having seen the Bomb Squad before the blast. These publications include:

WORKIN’ INTEREST, Parker & Rassley Petroleum USA Inc.

THE PANOLA WATCHMAN, a local newspaper

MASS MEDIA, an interoffice newsletter that reads:

MASS MEDIA Special Edition of the Oklahoma County Assessors Newsletter By J.D. Reed

As usual, I pulled into the parking garage about 7:30 and made my way into our office building.

Although it was unusual to see the Oklahoma County Bomb Disposal Unit parked outside the courthouse, I assumed it was routine business and thought no more about it.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department claims that the large Bomb Squad truck with trailer, which was used later that day to remove the unexploded bombs found inside the Murrah Building,4 was outside prior to the bombing because a deputy was using it for "routine errands."

One eyewitness, Claude Fritz, told 20/20 that he saw paramilitary Bomb Squad personnel searching the outside of the courthouse across the street; he said that prior to the blast "the presence of law enforcement was in the air, it was everywhere downtown that morning."

In fact Fritz witnessed several fire trucks speeding toward the Murrah Building with sirens blazing moments before the blast. When another ABC program, EXTRA, contacted the Oklahoma City Fire Department to ask them about Fritz’s claim, the Fire Department told EXTRA: "We can’t really confirm or deny that claim." 5

20/20 established, contrary to official denials, that the Oklahoma City Fire Department received a call from the FBI five days before the bombing (04/14/95) warning them that "there were some people coming through town they should be on the lookout for."

Perhaps most shocking, the 20/20 investigation discovered that someone had called the Executive Secretariat’s Office at the Justice Department in Washington D.C. to report the Murrah Building bombing 24 minutes before the blast. 20/20 quoted on screen the official government document reading:

The Department of Justice... received a telephone call...twenty-four minutes prior to the bombing.... The caller said, "The federal building in Oklahoma City has just been bombed."

20/20 anchor Tom Jarriel then noted that "no action was apparently taken" by the Justice Department in response to that strange emergency call minutes before the blast.

With early warnings and with the heavy law-enforcement presence around the Murrah Building that morning, it’s surprising that the vehicles seen by witnesses speeding away from the Murrah Building seconds before the blast were not noticed by the law-enforcement officers.6, 7

The Judge Who Knew

U.S. District Judge Wayne Alley, whose office was in the federal courthouse across the street from the Murrah Building, told Oregon’s largest daily newspaper, The Oregonian, that he had been warned to take "EXTRA precautions" several days before the April 19th blast.

Judge Alley told The Oregonian (04/20/97): "Let me just say that within the past two or three weeks, information has been disseminated... that indicated concerns on the part of people who ought to know that we ought to be a little bit more careful." He said that he was told to keep an eye out for "people... wandering about in the courthouse who aren’t supposed to be there, [and] letter bombs. There has been an increased vigilance." By an amazing stroke of good luck, Alley did not show up for work on April 19th.

The forewarnings that Judge Alley received were reserved for only a select few. And indeed, Alley was an important official, so much so that on August 10, 1995 he was assigned to be the judge in the Oklahoma City bombing case.

The defense tried for months to have Alley removed from the case, but to no avail. Then the defense discovered Alley’s statements in The Oregonian and submitted them to the court on November 30, 1995. Within 48 hours, on December 1st, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals removed Alley from the case, ruling that because his office was across the street from, and damaged by, the blast, he could not be considered an impartial party in the case.8 Yet no mention was made by the federal court of Judge Alley’s forewarnings.9

ATF Cleared Out of Building?

While at least 10 ATF agents were at the Murrah Building moments after the blast,10 it seems that the ATF office inside the building was empty at the time of the blast. The ABC program 20/20 (01/17/97) interviewed a man who, while looking for his wife at the Murrah Building, ran into an ATF agent who said that he had survived the blast because "We were tipped by our pagers not to come in to work today."

That same individual, whose wife was injured in the blast, had been interviewed previously along with two other witnesses by NBC’s affiliate in Oklahoma City, KFOR television (09/12/95). The second witness, the boss of the first, told KFOR viewers that he had overheard the account of the first witness just cited. The third witness, a rescue worker, had also been informed that there were no ATF agents in the building that day. All three witnesses spoke to KFOR, just as the first of the three spoke to 20/20, in shadow, for fear of ATF reprisal.9

Their fear of the ATF was well-founded: just ask former ATF agents Diane Kipel and Mike Casali, who were targeted for harassment and intimidation by the ATF after blowing the whistle on theft by ATF agents during raids in Chicago. As a result, they lived in constant terror for months, even keeping their children and themselves away from windows in their home through which they feared they would be shot by ATF snipers.11

ATF Covers-Up Prior Knowledge

In response to charges that the ATF had prior knowledge and had cleared its agents out of the Murrah Building before the blast, the ATF scrambled to cook up a cover-story: the ATF claimed that its agent Alex McCauley along with DEA agent David Chickendance, had survived the blast while inside an elevator that fell five stories. After the free-fall, the two forced the elevator doors open and proceeded heroically to rescue many other survivors—or so the ATF story went.

Not taking the ATF story at face value, 20/20 interviewed elevator maintenance crewmen Oscar Johnson and Duane James of Midwest Elevator, who said that the ATF’s story was "pure fantasy." The crew had inspected the Murrah Building elevators shortly after the blast on April 19 and found that all the elevators were in perfect condition and could not possibly have fallen as the ATF claimed.

Furthermore, according the Midwest Elevator, not only could the two federal agents not have fallen or have opened the elevator doors, but they also could not have survived a five-story fall without sustaining traumatic injuries, and subsequently they could not have proceeded to rescue other people.9 The ATF must have been pretty desperate to have fabricated such a fantastically false fable. By the way, according to 20/20, DEA agent David Chickendance won the National Policeman of the Year Award for his "heroic" part in that fraudulent federal fable.

Prior Warning From ATF Agent

The following evidence of prior knowledge by the federal government to the Oklahoma City bombing, perhaps the most important in this case, revolves around two undercover operatives, Carol Howe and Andreas Strassmeir. Many investigators believe Strassmeir is the elusive John Doe 2.

ANDREAS STRASSMEIR is the son of the German politician Gunther Strassmeir, often referred to as the "architect of German reunification." According to his lawyer Kirk Lyons, Andreas Strassmeir was trained in military intelligence operations at the Bundeswehr Academy in Hanover, Germany. His close friend Dennis Mahon, leader of the militant racist-group White Aryan Resistance (WAR) in the U.S., says Strassmeir was a member of Germany’s elite counterterrorism unit, GSG-9.12

Strassmeir told Oklahoma City attorney John Michael Johnston that he did undercover counterterrorism work while in Germany.12 Strassmeir later told London’s SUNDAY TELEGRAPH reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard that he came to the U.S. looking to do undercover work for the Department of Justice or DEA, but he said such top-secret employment was not acquired.13 Private investigators Glenn and Kathy Wilburn, whose daughter Edye Smith lost her two children in the bombing, believe they have established not only that Strassmeir is John Doe 2, but that he was also an undercover federal agent whom they identify in their law suit as a "U.S. federal informant with material knowledge of the bombing."13

CAROL M. HOWE, a 26-year-old resident of Tulsa, OK, was a Miss Teenage America semi-finalist and honors student who became active in the militant racist group WAR. In 1994 Howe became an undercover agent for the ATF. She had infiltrated the Christian Identity white-separatist commune "Elohim City" in eastern Oklahoma and made more than 70 reports during 1994-95. According to NBC News: "The government acknowledges in federal documents that she [Carol Howe] was their informant."14

Howe’s reports, which she submitted to her ATF boss, Angela Finley, exposed detailed plans by some Elohim City residents, such as Andreas Strassmeir, to blow up federal targets including the Murrah Building.15

During Howe’s infiltration of Elohim City, she also saw Timothy McVeigh and the government’s star witness and long-time McVeigh friend, Michael Fortier. At Elohim City, McVeigh was known as "Tim Tuttle," an alias he frequently used. Yet after gathering such explosive intelligence, according to the Associated Press, the ATF then fired Howe just days before the bombing because her reports had suddenly become "unreliable."14

Howe’s "unreliable" reports focused on Andreas Strassmeir. Howe was not aware that Strassmeir was apparently also a federal operative, which would explain why the FBI, even with Howe’s reports in hand, did not pursue the John Doe 2 look-alike Strassmeir after the blast. The FBI merely noted in a summary of Carol Howe’s reports:

Strassmeir has talked frequently about direct action against the U.S. government. He is trained in weaponry and has discussed assassination, bombings, and mass shootings. Strassmeir and Mahon [leader of WAR] have taken three trips to Oklahoma City.16

This evidence not only proves (a) that the ATF and FBI had prior warning of an action against the Murrah Building by a group of people associated with Timothy McVeigh, and yet did nothing to stop it, but (b) after the bombing, the FBI did not pursue Strassmeir, a prime suspect fitting the John Doe 2 profile down to the scar on his face.

At the request of the ATF, the Oklahoma State Patrol did put out a "be on the lookout for" alert for Strassmeir after the blast.17 But Strassmeir was never apprehended, and the alert was quickly suppressed and denied.18 Strassmeir, who had been in the U.S. with a passport that had expired in 1991, was allowed to return to Germany many months after the bombing in early 199614 in an apparent effort not to avoid authorities but private investigators.

Furthermore, after first calling John Doe 2 (JD2) "the most wanted man in America," the FBI acted to suppress all official investigations of JD2. As an internal FBI memo now proves,19 the FBI suspended their search for JD2 very early in the investigation—contrary to their claims that they were still looking for JD2 at the time.20

The FBI went so far in their effort to suppress information about JD2 that they even censured grand jurors who asked questions about JD2, such as former Oklahoma City bombing grand juror Hoppy Heidelburgh, who headed the grand jury’s investigation before being thrown off the jury for his persistent investigation into JD2. Heidelburgh had reached the conclusion that JD2 was an undercover federal agent.21

In an effort to fabricate the facade of investigation, the FBI finally contacted JD2 suspect Strassmeir by phone in Germany but only after McVeigh’s attorney Stephen Jones condemned the FBI for not following up on leads. When Strassmeir was interviewed by the German publication Report Baden-Baden, he said that when the FBI called him by phone they assured him that "They would cover for me." 22

In Conclusion

This extensive body of evidence indicates not only that the ATF and the FBI had prior knowledge of an impending terrorist act on the Murrah Building, but that the FBI is guilty of the obstruction of justice by aiding and abetting the escape from justice of a prime suspect, John Doe 2, who may have been a federal operative involved in the worst act of mass murder in U.S. history.

This evidence further suggests that some element within the federal government may have actively participated in the mass murder in Oklahoma City, which resulted in massive new powers being given to the federal government through "anti-terrorist legislation" spurred on by the bombing of the Murrah Building. &

Endnotes to Goddard Article

1) REUTERS: Families of Oklahoma City Victims to Sue U.S.. March 19, 1997. Also see: http://www.cnn.com/US/9703/19/okc.bomb/index.html

2) ASSOCIATED PRESS: 300 Families Sue Government, Day Care and Chemical Company. April 19, 1997. http://xenocide.nando.net/newsroom/ntn/top/041997/ topstory_17914_S1 .html

3) ABC’s 20/20, 01/17/97. http://jbs.org/okc/mretruth.htm

4) CNN reports videotaped, April 19, 1995.

5) EXTRA: Prior Knowledge. 11/20/96. ABC program.

6) THE WASHINGTON TIMES: U.S. Experts Begin Search for Killers. by Micheal Hedges, April 20, 1995. Reports that a van with 3 men was seen speeding away.

7) OKBOMB! By Jim Keith. IllumiNet Press, 1996, p.11 & 19. Reports van and McVeigh’s car w/ two inside were seen.

8) ASSOCIATED PRESS: Appeals Court Removes Oklahoma Bombing Judge. by Paul Queary, 12/01/97. http://www.arlington.net/archives/12011995.arc/news/ daily/topstory.htm

9) THE NEW AMERICAN: Evidence of Prior Knowledge. by William F. Jasper, ay 13, 1996, pp. 31-35. http://jbs.org/okc/priorevd.htm

10) OKBOMB! By Jim Keith. IllumiNet Press, 1996, p.71.

11) TIME MAGAZINE: ATF Under Siege. by Erik Larson, 07/24/95, pp.26-7.

12) THE NEW AMERICAN: More Pieces to the OKC Puzzle. by William F. Jasper, June 24, 1996, pp. 4-8. http://jbs.org/okc/mrepiece.htm

13) THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Did agents bungle US terror bomb? by A.Evans-Pritchard & A.Gimson, 5/20/96. http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=0001111 51604876&rtmo=3307311a&atmo=3307311a&pg=/ et/96/5/20/wbungl19.html

14) DIGITAL CITY DENVER: Federal Agent Knew of Bombing. Figure. by Ryan Ross, March 26, 1997. http://denver.digitalcity.com/bombing/pages/art0021.htm

15) McCURTAIN DAILY GAZETTE. J.D. Cash. February 11, 1997.

16) THE NEW AMERICAN: ATF Informant Says Cover-Up. by W.F.Jasper, March 17, 1997, pp. 17-18. http://www.jbs.org/okc/atfinfrm.htm

17) GERMANY ALERT: ATF Sought Son of Top Kohl Aide After Oklahoma Bombing. April 7, 1997. http://chantry.com/ga/970407.htm#ATF

18) DIGITAL CITY DENVER: Federal Agent Knew of Bombing Figure. By Ryan Ross, March 26, 1997. http://denver.digitalcity.com/bombing/pages/art0021.htm

19) FBI memo calling off all inquiry into John Doe 2: http://denver.digitalcity.com/ bombing/pages/doc0001.htm

20) DIGITAL CITY DENVER: FBI Memo: Bomb Suspect Search Suspended. By Ryan Ross. http://denver.digitalcity.com/bombing/pages/art0009.htm

21) MEDIA BYPASS: OKC Grand Jurors Claim ‘Cover-up.’ Nov.95. & http://home.earthlink.net/~alto/hoppy.html

22) REPORT BADEN-BADEN: Another Trial of The Century. by Klaus Weidmann and Thilo Brethauer, 04/14/97. Posted by David Hoffman

Recommended Books on the OKC Bombing:

OKBOMB, by Jim Keith, 1996, Illuminet Press.

OKLAHOMA CITY, DAY ONE, by Michele Moore, 1996, Harvest Trust.

THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING AND THE POLITICS OF TERROR, by David Hoffman, 1997, Feral House. Due out fall 1997.

OKC Bombing Internet Information Sites:


http://www.yahoo.com/News_and_media/Current_Events/Oklahoma_City_Bombing_ Trial/Latest_News_Stories/Archived_Articles/