Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Jayna Davis, the author of The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing.
FP: Jayna Davis, welcome to Frontpage Interview. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
Davis: I’m delighted that Frontpage considers my investigative work worthy of an interview. It’s a pleasure to join you in this discussion.
FP: First and foremost, what motivated you to write this book? How did you become interested in the topic?
Davis: My tumultuous journey began nine years ago amidst widespread death and destruction on a scale Americans had never before seen. As an investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City, KFOR-TV, I was among the first correspondents on the scene of the bombing of the Alfred. P. Murrah Building.
The concussive wave of fury had blown out windows in every office building and high-rise within my immediate range of sight and beyond. My eyes drank in the staggering devastation and the surreal panorama of human slaughter, but my mind could not comprehend the possibility of terrorism. Not in my hometown.
On April 20, 1995, my news director assigned me to cover the international manhunt for suspects. During the first forty-eight hours, all eyes were trained exclusively on the Middle East. Pundits and terrorism experts, including retired officials from the CIA and FBI, opined that the destruction to the federal complex shared striking parallels with the 1993 World Trade Center attack and the modus operandi of Middle Eastern truck bombings.
As a reporter from a Midwestern television station, I obviously did not have access to sources inside the intelligence corridors of the Washington beltway. Therefore, I did what any enterprising journalist would do – start manning the newsroom telephones hoping to develop eyewitness testimony near the crime scene.
I soon found myself swimming in a sea of conspiracy theories espoused by people seeking their proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. That is, until, one groundbreaking tip led me directly to the doorstep of what several esteemed intelligence experts, including the former Director of the CIA Jim Woolsey, later determined to be a Middle Eastern terrorist cell living and operating in the heart of Oklahoma City.
Outside a dilapidated business office located thirty blocks north of the burned out Murrah Building, under the very nose of FBI investigators, I began my nine-year quest to expose the greatest law enforcement failure of the 20th century, a legal breakdown that I firmly believe might have led, in part, to the terrorism holocaust of the young 21st century.
FP: Many individuals probably find the theme of your book quite far-fetched at first glance: that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were not the lone conspirators in the Oklahoma City bombing. You argue that they were part of a larger scheme which involved Islamic/Iraqi terrorists. Can you give us a few of the facts?
Davis: The Third Terrorist is the culmination of nearly a decade of exhaustive research. Throughout the course of my investigation, I interviewed eighty potential witnesses, twenty-two of whom I deemed credible because their testimonies could be independently corroborated, and more importantly, their stories did not conflict with the government’s case against McVeigh and Nichols.
In detailed affidavits, these witnesses confidently identified eight specific Middle Eastern men, the majority of whom were former Iraqi soldiers, colluding with the Oklahoma City bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, during various stages of the bombing plot.
All of these suspects immigrated to the United States following the Persian Gulf War, ostensibly seeking political asylum from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. However, my investigation revealed they were, in fact, false defectors – not outspoken dissidents as they had claimed.
This cadre of Iraqi servicemen moved to Oklahoma City in the fall of 1994 and began performing handiwork for a property management company that was owned and operated by a Palestinian expatriate. The affluent real estate mogul, who operated under eight known aliases, funded his vast, multi-million dollar housing empire from monies contributed by siblings living in Baghdad, Jerusalem, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and Amman, Jordan.
In the early 1990’s, the Palestinian property owner pleaded guilty to federal insurance fraud and served time in the penitentiary. Court records revealed that the FBI once suspected the ex-convict of having ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Six months prior to the bombing, the Palestinian felon hired a group of self-professed “defectors” from the Iraqi army to do maintenance work on his low-income rental houses. On April 19, several witnesses watched in stunned amazement as their Middle Eastern co-workers expressed prideful excitement upon hearing the first radio broadcasts that Islamic extremists had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Murrah Building. The men cheered deliriously, exuberantly pledging their allegiance to the now deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, vowing they would “die for Saddam.”
Nearly two dozen Oklahomans have signed sworn affidavits in which they accuse these ardent Saddam supporters and ex-enemy combatants of aiding and abetting McVeigh and Nichols.
The most incriminating testimony centered around one man – Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini. Al-Hussaini not only fit the FBI’s physical description in the official arrest warrant for John Doe 2, but according to veteran law enforcement officials, was a dead ringer for the government’s profile sketch of the elusive suspect.
Witnesses identified this Iraqi immigrant socializing with McVeigh at an Oklahoma City nightclub prior to the bombing. An Oklahoma City gas station attendant also fingered Al-Hussaini as the customer who paid one hundred dollars cash to fill up a large Ryder truck with diesel fuel (key chemical component used in Ryder truck bomb) on eve of the bombing - April 18, 1995. The next morning, a maintenance working at the motel located adjacent to the service station observed what was very likely the same Ryder truck emanating an odorous stench of diesel, yet according to the witness, the gas cap bore a warning sticker which read: “Unleaded Fuel Only.”
Two witnesses named the Iraqi soldier as the dark-haired, olive-skinned male they observed timing his run at a breathless pace from the Murrah Building one block east shortly before daybreak on April 19. Moreover, several Oklahoma City residents claimed to have seen Al-Hussaini climbing into the cab of a Ryder truck that reeked of diesel fuel at a local motel an hour before the explosion. The witnesses indicated that Timothy McVeigh was seated behind the wheel of that moving van as it pulled off the lot and headed toward downtown.
Furthermore, the Iraqi soldier was positively identified sitting in the passenger seat of the Ryder truck next to McVeigh a few blocks north of the Murrah Building at 8:30 a.m., stepping out of that truck at ground zero directly in front of the ill-fated federal complex moments before the massive fertilizer/fuel oil bomb detonated, and speeding away from downtown in the driver’s seat of a brown Chevrolet pickup targeted by the FBI in an official teletype for foreign suspects.
Five witnesses independently fingered Al-Hussaini and several of his Middle Eastern associates as frequent visitors at an Oklahoma City motel in the months, weeks, days, and hours leading up to 9:02 a.m. on April 19. On numerous occasions the Arab subjects were seen in the company of Timothy McVeigh, and during a few rare instances, associating with Terry Nichols. More significantly, detailed interviews with key witnesses proved conclusively that the man whom witnesses named as the nefarious “third terrorist” had no provable alibi for the critical hours of April 19.
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