By J.D. Cash and Lt. Col. Roger
Charles (U.S. Marine Corps Ret.) Copyright 2003 by McCurtain Daily Gazette
The McCurtain Daily Gazette has obtained an unclassified copy of a
memorandum marked From the Director of the FBI containing several new facts
that could impact the upcoming state murder trial of Terry Nichols,
scheduled to begin March 1 in McAlester.
The electronic message was sent to the OKBOMB investigation task force and a
select group of FBI offices around the nation some eight months after the
1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma City left 168 dead.
The potentially explosive contents of the teletype, among other things,
exposes an informant operation being conducted by nationally known civil
rights lawyer Morris Dees through his organization the Southern Poverty Law
Exposed for the first time, the FBI acknowledged the SPLC was engaged in an
undercover role where they monitored subjects for the FBI believed to be
linked to executed bomber Timothy McVeigh, the white supremacist compound at
Elohim City and the mysterious German national Andreas Carl Strassmeir.
Dated Jan. 4, 1996, the four-page cable was drafted and issued under the
authority of FBI director Louis Freeh and is heavily redacted (portions
Despite these redactions, the document clearly describes individuals the FBI
believed were associated with the OKBOMB and BOMBROB cases – two high
profile domestic terrorism cases the FBI was investigating as possibly
Many of the details in this potentially explosive document have never been
made public before.
The OKBOMB case focused several hundred FBI agents on the truck bombing of
the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
The FBI’s BOMBROB investigation was much smaller. It involved a wide-ranging
search for a group of neo-Nazi bank robbers in the mid-1990s whose stated
goal was the overthrow of the U.S. government through violence.
Only days after the Jan. 4, 1996, cable was sent, the first two arrests were
made in the BOMBROB case. Within 13 months of the electronic message, four
more persons were jailed in connection with 22 bank robberies the radical
rightwing group participated in across seven Midwestern states.
Each of the six individuals arrested in the BOMBROB case had ties to Elohim
City, a Christian Identity paramilitary training camp near Muldrow.
Only two persons have ever been charged in the Oklahoma City bombing – the
20th Century’s most brutal act of domestic terrorism that left 149 adults
and 19 children dead.
In 1997, McVeigh was found guilty and executed in 2001 for his role in the
Nichols, McVeigh’s co-conspirator, is serving a life sentence handed down by
a federal judge in 1998.
It is widely believed that when Nichols goes on trial in McAlester – facing
an additional 161-counts of first-degree murder – his lawyers will point the
finger at other conspirators who they believe can be linked to McVeigh and
the bombing in Oklahoma City conspiracy. Director warns of plan for
In the Jan. 4, 1996, document from the director, sketchy details of a plan
are provided regarding an escape by a key subject wanted for questioning in
the OKBOMB case. Facts would later emerge that this key individual also
roomed with several members of the bank robbery gang rounded-up during the
Although his name was redacted, the key subject in the electronic message
was Andreas Carl Strassmeir. He was a person the FBI officially listed as
“possibly armed and may be dangerous” and who the director expected to cross
the Mexican border “in the near future.”
Inexplicably, none of the offices that received this memo were in the state
of Texas where Strassmeir had just arrived and was expected to make his
escape across the Mexican border.
Other documents obtained by this newspaper indicate Strassmeir entered
Mexico within a very short time of the director’s statements predicting the
move. Strassmeir made his way to Germany and the safety of his politically
connected family in Berlin.
Equally difficult to understand, FBI agents apparently did not go to a
residence in North Carolina noted in the electronic message where Strassmeir
had been staying with a friend prior to his escape from the U.S.
This newspaper first reported that Strassmeir had been singled out for
arrest by the ATF in early 1995, but those plans were thwarted by the
Oklahoma City FBI office.
The Tulsa ATF office sought an arrest warrant in early 1995 for Strassmeir
after an informant, Carol E. Howe, told them about a plot at Elohim City to
bomb federal installations, commit mass shootings and kill large numbers of
Ms. Howe identified Strassmeir as one of the ringleaders in the plot.
Tulsa ATF officials were able to determine that the heavily armed German
national was an illegal overstay on his travel visa, therefore subject to
arrest on a host of charges.
However, last minute efforts by then-FBI special agent in charge of the
Oklahoma City field office, Bob Ricks, scrubbed plans for Strassmeir’s
arrest when the FBI agent contacted U.S. Attorney Steve Lewis in Tulsa and
complained about the ATF plan to raid Elohim City.
When this newspaper discovered documents confirming the FBI interdiction,
Ricks sought to explain his actions by saying he successfully lobbied
against Strassmeir’s arrest in late February of 1995 because he wanted to
avoid another Waco-style disaster by the ATF.
Months after the Oklahoma bombing, Strassmeir fled Elohim City and began
hiding in Black Mountain, North Carolina. after this newspaper discovered
and reported on a phone call to Elohim City from McVeigh was linked to him.
Nichols not a conspirator?
Also contained in the four-page document is a remarkable statement that
raises doubts about the FBI’s belief that Nichols was a conspirator in the
Regarding this revelation, the memo again describes the telephone call
widely believed to have been made by McVeigh to Elohim City where Strassmeir
and several members of a bank robbery gang were living on April 5, 1995.
The FBI director makes the following observation:
“Prior OKBOMB investigation determined that (name redacted) had placed a
telephone call to (name redacted) on 4/5/95 a day that he was believed to
have been attempting to recruit a second conspirator to assist in the OKBOMB
Thus, a plain reading of the Jan. 4, 1996, memo suggests the FBI director
did not believe a second conspirator in the bombing existed on April 5, 1995
– an embarrassing admission, indeed, considering that during two trials in
1997, federal prosecutors argued that Nichols was deeply involved in the
bomb plot dating back to Sept. of 1994. Morris Dees’ informant?
Also disclosed for the first time are references by the FBI director to an
informant working for the Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law
Center (SPLC), headed by civil right’s attorney Morris Dees and who was
present at Elohim City in the critical hours leading up to the bombing in
Referring to a telephone call on April 17, 1995 (alleged to have been from
McVeigh), the memo states: “(Name redacted) telephone call from (name
redacted) on or about 4/17/95, two days prior to the OKBOMB attack, when
(name redacted) of the SPLC, was in the white supremacist compound at
(redacted), Oklahoma, notes the director. (Emphasis added)
References to an informant working for the SPLC at Elohim City on the eve of
the Oklahoma City bombing raises serious questions as to what the SPLC might
know about McVeigh’s activities during the final hours before the fuse was
lit in Oklahoma City – but which the SPLC has failed to disclose publicly.
Questioned during a press conference at Southeastern Oklahoma State
University in Durant recently, Dees confirmed someone from his organization
was inside the white supremacist compound at Elohim City on April 17, 1995.
“If I told you what we were doing there, I would have to kill you,” Dees
replied when pressed to explain what this person was doing at a terrorist
Dees did acknowledge that his information network long ago established that
McVeigh had been to Elohim City before the bombing.
“But we didn’t have him on our radar screen until he was arrested,” Dees
Dees has written a number of books and articles about the militia movement
in this country.
Many have criticized Dees’ attacks on right-wing militias and gun owners in
the U.S. as inaccurate, exploitive and designed to get donations to his
tax-exempt foundation, which receives substantial contributions each year.
The director’s electronic message also alludes to a person at the Oklahoma
white supremacist compound described by the FBI head as a subject with an
allegedly, “…. lengthy relationship with one of the two indicted OKBOMB
conspirators (emphasis added).”
John Millar, a church elder at Elohim City, told the McCurtain Daily
Gazette, “I don’t know who was out here back then. It doesn’t surprise me
that a bunch of Jews that work for Dees and that Southern Poverty (SPLC)
bunch would be spying on us. They don’t understand our message or anything
about us. Why don’t you ever write about the fact that no one has ever found
a link to McVeigh here?”
Until this memo surfaced, spokespersons for the FBI and the U.S. Department
of Justice steadfastly denied they had any reliable information concerning
any relationship between either McVeigh or Nichols and subjects living at or
who had frequented the Elohim City compound before the bombing.
Attorney Stephen Jones, who represented McVeigh at trial in Denver, Colo.,
said he was not provided this information from the government despite
repeated motions filed with the court.
“We filed motions with the judge specifically asking for details of
surveillance activities at Elohim City and other places. We were told by
prosecutors that they had no records. Now you have some of them,” Jones
“Also, as you know the FBI kept saying they had no information linking
McVeigh to Elohim City beyond the one phone call on April 5. Well, as you
can see, there’s much more than that here.”
Attorneys representing Nichols are bound by a gag order and unable to
comment on the contents of this new information or whether they had copies
of the material this newspaper had received.
A spokesman for the FBI office in Oklahoma City, Gary Johnson, said, “The
FBI still stands by the results of the most expensive and thorough
investigation in history.
“We arrested everyone in this crime and these conspiracy stories just waste
our time.” Andy the German to flee.
As noted earlier, one of the principal subjects referred to in the memo from
the director of the FBI is Andreas Strassmeir, a foreign national with
extensive military training the FBI identified as the person responsible for
providing terrorist training to a number of neo-Nazi skinheads at Elohim
City in the early and mid-90s.
Despite obvious links to bombing conspirator McVeigh at such a crucial time
in the plot – and the fact that several of the German’s neo-Nazi roommates
and trainees later went to prison for criminal activities including murder,
bank robbery, bombings, weapons violations and a conspiracy to overthrow the
U.S. government – the DOJ has said that Strassmeir was never officially
questioned by the FBI while living for over seven years in the U.S. – much
of that time after his visa had expired.
Days after the director’s memo was sent to the OKBOMB command post and five
FBI field offices, Strassmeir crossed the Mexican border with the assistance
of a former member of the U.S. Special Forces, David Holloway.
Strassmeir’s flamboyant attorney, Kirk Lyons of Black Mountain, N.C., issued
a bizarre statement after his client fled the U.S., admitting the C.A.U.S.E
Foundation (a non-profit organization established to help the victims of the
Waco massacre) provided the money for Strassmeir’s escape.
Lyons, the managing director of the C.A.U.S.E. Foundation, quickly confirmed
that Strassmeir received help in the escape with one of the foundation’s
associates, Holloway, with additional assistance provided by an elite corps
of German counter-terrorism troops after the pair exited the U.S.
Although Strassmeir was wanted for questioning in the OKBOMB case at the
time of his escape and was illegally in the U.S. at the time - and those
facts were known to his attorney when he crossed the Mexican border with a
member of the C.A.U.S.E. Foundation - attorney Kirk Lyons has never been
charged with harboring a fugitive, obstructing justice or disciplined by the
North Carolina Bar Association for his admitted role in assisting a client
elude federal authorities.
(Special thanks to John Solomon with the Washington, D.C., AP office for his
generous help and contributions that made this story possible.)
No man can associate with sheep and
retain his self-respect ~Teddy Roosevelt ~
No man is justified in
doing evil on the ground of expedience ~ T Roosevelt ~
Every reform movement
has a lunatic fringe ~ T Roosevelt ~
A man who has never
gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university
education, he may steal from the whole railroad ~ T Roosevelt ~
A muttonhead, after an
education at West Point—or Harvard—is a muttonhead still ~ T Roosevelt ~
To educate a man in
mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society ~ T Roosevelt