New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 21, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
I M Herald-Zeitung ■ Friday, April 21,1995
rnManhunt is on in Oklahoma City bombing
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) —Dig- ' ging for signs of lift, searchers found ?nly more bodies in the concrete chaos wrought by the deadliest terrorist bombing in U.S. history. Investigators, scouring the heartland and far beyond, issued warrants for two John Doe suspects.
Late Thursday, the confirmed death*' toll rose to 52, and officials said 150 more were still missing in the tangled rubble of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. More than 400 people were injured, many slashed by flying glass or buried helplessly under doors, walls and concrete beams.
A tattoo and a crew cut were about all that distinguished sketches of the suspects from countless other medi-um-build white men. They were believed to have rented the truck that carried the half-ton homemade bomb, FBI Agent Weldon Kennedy said.
Their identities — and their motive — were unknown, Kennedy said. He speculated they may have wanted “some revenge on the federal government as an entity or one of the agencies housed in that building.”
The death toll rose to 52 and some 150 more were still missing in the tangled rubble of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. More than 400 people were injured, many slashed by flying glass or buried helplessly under doors, walls and concrete beams.
Jon Hansen, assistant fire chief, said 40 bodies were removed from the bombed-out building, and rescue workers searching a lower level came upon another group of corpses. He said res-
There was a big pile of rubble, with bodies. I was lying on top of one of the bodies without really knowing it.’— Rick Nelson, surgeon
cuers stopped counting at a dozen.
As President Clinton promised “swift and certain and severe” justice, Attorney General Janet Reno announced a $2 million reward for information leading to arrests.
Aren Almon, mother of a I-year-old girl who died in the explosion, said through sobs that she wanted the killers to know the grief they caused.
“If they do catch these criminals,” she said in a television interview, “maybe they’ll see this and see how much they’ve hurt me, and hurt my family and hurt other people. They destroyed our lives, and our homes.” Rescue teams used dogs, fiber-optic cameras and listening devices as the slow search of the nine-story hulk ground on. They briefly suspended their work so that the shattered columns could be shored up to avert a cave-in.
Surgeon Rick Nelson conveyed the grimness of the search scene. “There was a big pile of rubble, with bodies,” he said. “I was lying on top of one of the bodies without really knowing it.” The dead included at least 12 children. Volunteers told of hearing children screaming and seeing tiny faces
covered with blood and plaster.
“This is the time to focus on the mission,” said Steve Gullett, a Missouri rescue-squad member who found a child’s finger in the debris. “It’s mission first, emotion second.”
Worried friends and relatives of the missing gathered at St. Luke United Methodist Church, where the Red Cross posted a victims list. Clutching photographs of the missing, some stayed to eat, talk to counselors or sleep.
“It’s just not knowing,” said 44-year-old Carl Johnson, awaiting word of his mother, who worked in the federal building. “I hope she’s alive. But if she’s still in the building, there’s not much hope left."
Investigators said the truck was rented April 17, packed with fuel-and-fer-tilizer explosives and parked outside the office building. The explosion Wednesday morning tore away half the structure and blasted a crater 8 feet deep and 30 feet across.
An axle thought to have come from the vehicle was found about two blocks away, according to a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity. Major auto parts are marked with an ID number to thwart thieves. Two years ago, the ID number on a piece of axle enabled investigators to break the World Trade Center bombing case.
A federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said investigators believe the truck was rented in Kansas, and they are checking fertilizer dealers in that state to try to trace the fertilizer used in the bomb.
Dave Russell, a Ryder Tmck Rental official, said the FBI contacted his company about a truck rented from Elliott’s Body Shop in Junction City, Kan., about 270 miles from Oklahoma City. Russell said he could not comment further.
The FBI issued sketches of the two suspects after sending an artist to Junction City to talk to witnesses.
The Murrah building, which opened in 1977, housed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with Social Security, Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, military recruiting and other offices.
Unidentified officials speculated to ABC, NBC and The New York Times that the suspects might be involved in the (hug trade and targeted the DEA office in the building. But a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that “the bombing is not the style of people in the drug trade.”
The government has received calls from people saying they were from various Muslim groups and claiming responsibility for the Oklahoma bombing.
Some Arab-American organizations expressed fear of a backlash and said it was unfair to implicate Muslims.
Clinton cautioned, “We should not stereotype anybody,” adding that the bombing was “an attack on the United States, our way of life, everything we believe in.”
Dallas men detained in bombing
DALLAS (AP) — A 24-year-old New York man has secluded himself in a North Dallas apartment after he was questioned by federal agents about the terrorist bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building.
The airest, questioning and release of Anis Siddiqy was part of the Texas end of the global manhunt for two suspects in the Wednesday bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Saddiqy, 24, told The Associated Press Thursday night that he and his brother Asad R. Siddiqy, 27, both of New York, were arrested Wednesday for questioning in the bombing. Also detained was their associate, Mohammed Chafi, age unknown, of Dallas, the man said.
All but the elder Saddiqy were released early Thursday, he said.
“They questioned me for like 16 hours and let me out at 9 o’clock this morning. They took everything in this apartment. After I think they were satisfied, they left me,” Siddiqy said.
In an interview in an unfurnished North Dallas apartment Thursday, Saddiqy said he and his elder brother came to Dallas on Tuesday to seek documents for an emergency return to their Middle Eastern homeland, believing they could obtain them faster in Dallas than in New York.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the FBI and Dallas police conducted a search of the Dallas apartment Wednesday night. Dallas
police spokesman Jim Spencer referred all comment to ATF, which did not immediately return telephone calls Thursday.
A copy of a search warrant left in the apartment showed that a black bag, containing clothing, calendar and address book were seized.
The seized items were sent for testing at a federal laboratory near Washington after a bomb-sniffing dog indicated the bags may have been exposed to chemicals used in explosives, officials told The Dallas Morning News.
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Britain returns American witness
LONDON (AP) — British immigration officials stopped a man arriving on a flight from Chicago today and returned him to the United States, where authorities want to question him about the Oklahoma bombing.
In Washington, Justice Department spokesman Carl Stem called the man being returned from London “a possible witness who was refused admittance to Britain.”
Asked if the man is a suspect, Stem replied: “You never know what’s down the road.”
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CNN reported that three men of Middle Eastern background were arrested — two in Dallas, one in Oklahoma City — on immigration charges and were being questioned in the bombing. However, an official at the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Washington denied INS had anyone in custody in Dallas or Oklahoma City.
A law enforcement source in New York told AP that one man named by CNN, Asad R. Siddiqy, a cab driver from the New York City borough of Queens, arrived in Oklahoma City about an hour before the blast and is considered a suspect.
The FBI, federal firearms agents and Dallas police took a calendar, address book and bag containing clothes from
an apartment building Wednesday night, according to a search warrant provided by a man who identified him-> self only as Siddiqy’s brother. :
The man said he was questioned by the ATF and FBI. He denied that he or his brother had anything to do with the bombing. He would not provide personal information about their occu-> pation or nationality.
A Jordanian-American described by U.S. officials as a possible witness in the bombing was flown from London to Washington’s Dulles Airport fox questioning. Italian officials said his bags, seized in Rome, contained pos-i sible bomb-making tools that had escaped detection at the Chicago airport. •
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