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Nichols says bombing was FBI op

Detailed confession filed in S.L. about Oklahoma City plot

Published: Thursday, Feb. 22 2007 1:02 p.m. MST

It wasn't until April 18, 1995, that Nichols said he helped McVeigh construct a bomb at Geary Lake. The bomb was comprised of "metal and white plastic" barrels which were filled with ammonium nitrate fertilizer and mixed with nitromethane. In all he estimates between 90 to 92 fifty-pound bags of fertilizer went into the barrels and explosive sticks were placed in the holes of each barrel.

Nichols said he had no further role in renting the Ryder truck and claims he did not know the target, only that McVeigh "wanted to make a statement" by "targeting some structure."

After hearing about the bombing of the federal building, which killed 168 adults and children, Nichols said he panicked when his name came up on the radio and he wanted to turn himself in — but not before hiding evidence, including explosives used in the bombing.

The claims made in the declaration have added yet more twists to the mystery surrounding the bombings. Some familiar with the bombing's history say Nichols' claims seem to indicate the FBI put McVeigh up to the plot as a draw for radicals, but that the situation got out of control and McVeigh became a runaway informant.

After reviewing the declaration, Rohrabacher told the Deseret Morning News that Nichols' claims should be investigated but treated with extreme skepticism.

"I need to caution people to remember that Terry Nichols is a mass murderer," Rohrabacher said. "But if Terry Nichols is beginning to reveal some of the information that's been kept from the public, I'd be very happy about that."

Rohrabacher also expressed disappointment with the FBI and the Department of Justice for not adequately following up on indications there were others who helped Nichols and McVeigh.

The congressman said he no longer is chairman of the subcommittee that conducted the investigation and is "dismayed" that no one else in Congress seems interested in the matter.

Nichols said he has much more information, which he offered to former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004, but is willing to divulge only under sworn video deposition. Trentadue said he plans to seek that deposition of Nichols, but "I expect one hell of a fight with the Department of Justice."

Nichols is serving life in prison without parole after being convicted by a jury for his role in the bombing. McVeigh also was convicted and on June 11, 2001 was executed in Terre Haute, Ind.


E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com

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