Saudi Arabian intelligence officials warned the FBI about an
Iraqi plot to attack federal facilities in 1995, including the
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, according to
an Oklahoma lawyer teaming up with a noted Washington, D.C.,
public-interest law firm.
Mike Johnston, co-counsel for
Judicial Watch, said
Thursday that on April 19, 1995 the day of the Oklahoma City
bombing Saudi intelligence alerted CIA officials in
Washington, who in turn advised FBI agents at the Washington
Metropolitan Field Office.
"Vincent Canastraro, who is the former chief of
counter-terrorism for the CIA
called Special Agent Kevin L.
Foust and informed him that one of his best sources from Saudi
Arabian intelligence specifically advised him that there was a
squad of people currently in the United States, very possibly
Iraqi, who, and I'm quoting, 'have been tasked with carrying out
terrorist acts against the United States,'" Johnston said during
an interview on the "Judicial Watch Report" radio program.
"The Saudi informant, who's part of the Saudi
counter-terrorism service, told [federal officials] that he had
seen the list and that 'first on the list was the federal
building in Oklahoma City, Okla.'" Johnston continued.
Johnston said the Saudi agent reported that an Internal
Revenue Service building in Houston, Texas, was "second on the
list," followed by the FBI's field office in Los Angeles.
The FBI facility was targeted because, according to Johnston,
it was the bureau's main counterintelligence operation at that
Johnston also said that documents obtained by Judicial Watch
show that about a year later, on April 16, 1996, the FBI filed a
follow-up report claiming the initial information gleaned from
Saudi sources was most likely accurate.
"Even though the government has consistently maintained that
no credible evidence exists linking McVeigh to international
terrorists," Johnston said, "the FBI generated a follow-up 302
report one year later
where a supervisory special agent, name
blacked out, contacted another source regarding the original
information from Canastraro."
The special agent "was told that the information was
confirmed as generated from a general within the Saudi Arabian
Intelligence Service," said Johnston. "The FBI 302 memo went on
to conclude that this information appears to have validity,
citing Canastraro's former position within the CIA."
An FBI spokeswoman told WorldNetDaily the bureau had no
comment on Johnston's allegations. CIA officials could not be
reached for comment prior to press time.
When asked why the government did not do more to press
McVeigh before his death if he was working for another
government, Johnston said such a strategy" was apparently not in
the game plan for the Justice Department
Johnston says some of his information came from documents
ordered sealed by U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch, the
presiding judge in McVeigh's initial trial, which took place in
He went on to note that Matsch has never lifted the order,
though "its kind of hard to see how it would affect Tim McVeigh
"The federal government continues to seek the maintenance of
that sealing order on the basis of privacy concerns," he said.
Johnston's disclosure comes on the heels of a report
that said the U.S. government was warned before the bombing
that Islamic extremists were planning attacks.
Islamic terrorists were planning to "strike inside the U.S.
against objects symbolizing the American government in the near
future," said one warning memo, according to The Associated
That report did not mention Saudi Arabia, but said only that
U.S. officials were tipped by evidence "gathered across the
globe from Iran and Syria to the Philippines."
AP said documents show the warnings became progressively more
specific as to the time, place and type of attack.
Stephen Jones, McVeigh's attorney, was reportedly upset by
"We specifically asked on the record for all evidence,
documents and tangible objects to show whether the government
had received a warning of acts of terror against federal
buildings. We didn't receive this," he told AP.
As WorldNetDaily reported in March, Johnston and Judicial
Watch have filed suit against Iraq, charging that Baghdad
masterminded and financed "in whole or in part" the OKC bombing.
Chris Farrell, investigative director for Judicial Watch,
told WorldNetDaily that the suit has yet to be served on the
Iraqi government, but that it is "trudging along" in its
process. He said the suit is being handled "through diplomatic
channels" in the State Department, which will hand it off to the
The U.S. maintains a section in the Polish Embassy in
Baghdad, and will serve the Iraqi government through it, with
Polish assistance, Farrell said.
As to whether the U.S. government has responded to reports of
the suit, Farrell said, "We haven't heard anything."
McVeigh and accomplice Terry Nichols were eventually charged
and convicted for differing roles in connection with the OKC
bombing. McVeigh was executed June 11, 2001; Nichols has been
sentenced to life in prison, but could face state death penalty
charges in Oklahoma.
Johnston, in his radio interview, also said there was some
evidence suggesting that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed a top al-Qaida
lieutenant whom federal authorities believe may have
masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks trained Nichols for the OKC
bombing in the Philippines.
Mohammed "was not only involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, he
was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center attack" as well,
Johnston charged. "He was in the Philippines at the same time as
Terry Nichols, by the way, in the last trip that he made down
there before the Murrah building bombing."
U.S. officials believe Mohammed was also in charge of
transferring the funds used by the Sept. 11 hijackers.
"There's lots of links that tie him to 9-11," one government
official told AP June 5. "He was intricately involved."
Mohammed is also believed to be an accomplice of Ramzi Yousef,
who is currently serving a life sentence in the U.S. for his
alleged role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Upon his arrest, Yousef was found in possession of plans to
blow up a dozen U.S. airliners. Prosecutors also believe he had
planned to crash a plane into the Pentagon.
Click here for
WorldNetDaily's complete OKC bombing coverage.