Witnesses Say Congressman Knew Of Bomb Warning
Rep. Istook calls allegation 'garbage'
OKLAHOMA CITY (AllPolitics, Jan. 15) -- Two reserve sheriff's deputies said today a congressman visiting the scene hours after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing told them there had been an advance warning of the attack.
The congressman, Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.), immediately issued a
statement calling the allegations "garbage" and suggesting the deputies'
imaginations were "sick and warped."
"He (Istook) made the comment, 'Yeah, we knew this was going to happen ... We got word through our sources that there was a radical fundamentalist Islamic group in Oklahoma City and they were going to bomb a federal building,'" said David Kochendorfer, an Oklahoma County reserve sheriff's deputy.
The deputies spoke at a news conference held by state Rep. Charles Key, who has raised questions about the bomb investigation and suggested that others besides Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols might have been involved.
Key said the deputies "submitted information" today to the Oklahoma
County grand jury which is investigating a possible larger conspiracy in the bombing.
Kochendorfer said Istook and his entourage were touring the devastation on the evening of April 19, 1995, when Istook made the comment.
His fellow reserve deputy, Don Hammons, said a woman who was taking
pictures for Istook told him a bomb threat was received as early as April 9, 1995 -- 10 days before the Alfred P. Murrah Building was destroyed by a truck bomb.
"It is garbage and a total fabrication to suggest that I have information that the government supposedly had prior knowledge of the Murrah Building bombing," Istook said. "Any such suggestion is the product of somebody's sick and warped imagination."
Key said there would be "more, very significant, dynamic information
coming forward like this in the future."
"This is just the first of some major revelations that prove ... that
there was significant prior knowledge," Key said.
Also at Key's news conference were survivors of the bombing and relatives of some of the 168 people who died.
V.Z. Lawton, a HUD employee who was on the 8th floor of the Murrah
Building at the time of the bombing, said he "knows there are others out there" besides McVeigh and Nichols who were involved.
"I still feel threatened," Lawton said. "They tried to kill me once and they may do it again."