Bombing at OU was not terrorism, FBI agent declares

The agency found no evidence of any agenda by the student killed in the blast.


By AP Wire Service
7/17/2006

. OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A University of Oklahoma student who blew himself up outside a packed football stadium was not a terrorist, the state's top FBI agent said.

"We have no evidence he had a social or political agenda that he was trying to bring attention to," Salvador Hernandez, the FBI's special agent in charge in Oklahoma, told The Oklahoman. "We don't consider this terrorism the way we define it. There would have to be a cause."

Joel "Joe" Henry Hinrichs III, an engineering student, died Oct. 1 when a bomb he was carrying exploded at a campus bench a short distance from an OU night football game.

Fans inside the packed stadium heard the blast during the second quarter of OU's game against Kansas State.

Hernandez disclosed that the FBI interviewed more than 200 people during the investigation but never found any evidence that Hinrichs had extremist views or ties to extremist groups.

He would not speculate on whether Hinrichs set off the bomb on the bench as a suicide or whether he also had intended to harm others and the bomb exploded prematurely.

"None of us can know what was going on in his head," Hernandez said.

Hernandez described Hinrichs, 21, as
a loner who had a longtime interest in explosives.

Hinrichs, who was from Colorado Springs, Colo., was very bright, but his grades had slipped at OU, the agent said.

Hernandez said agents did not find any conclusive evidence that Hinrichs tried to enter the stadium or that he bought or tried to buy a ticket to the game.

Agents viewed hours and hours of tapes from stadium security cameras but never spotted Hinrichs, Hernandez said.

He said fellow students knew that Hinrichs was interested in and had experimented with bombs and they should have reported that to authorities.

Agents could not reconstruct much of what Hinrichs did the day of the bombing, a Saturday. They believe he was on the Internet in the morning. They believe about 6:15 p.m. he typed, "None of you are worth living with. You can all kiss my a--," on his apartment computer. They believe he then walked to where he died. The bomb exploded about 7:30 p.m.



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