The journalist “advised that a source within the Saudi Arabian Intelligence Service advised that the Oklahoma City bombing was sponsored by the Iraqi Special Services who contracted seven (7) former Afghani Freedom Fighters out of Pakistan,” an April 17, 1996 FBI memo states, recounting the then-ABC journalist’s interview with FBI agents a year earlier on the evening of the April 19, 1995 bombing. (The Iraqi connection, of course, never materialized.)I'm still a little fuzzy on the whole 'never materialized' thing, perhaps because the public investigation of the Murrah attack was so darned private. The FBI once talked of "others unknown" but once they fried McVeigh and sent Nichols to the Supermax it was case closed.
Anyway, having just read Jayna Davis' book "The Third Terrorist" this was an interesting development. She discusses the Saudi connection and Cannistraro beginning on page 37 by mentioning an ABC News report on April 19 by John McWethy saying the FBI had been watching several Islamic groups in Oklahoma before the attack. While not mentioning the Saudi source, she relates an interesting encounter between Cannistraro and McVeigh defense attorney Stephen Jones (who was convinced there was a middle eastern component to the attack) two pages later:
"The government is not interested in a foreign plot. It has its perpetrators and they don't want anyone or anything complicating it".Cannistraro's name would come up a few years later in an interview by ABC News reporter Sheila MacVicar regarding the possibility of bin Laden and Saddam joining forces. That aired in 1999 but oddly, after Bush actually invaded Iraq, Cannistraro became more of a dove. MacVicar is now the London correspondent for CBS and sadly, McWethy was killed in a skiing accident in 2008, not to say either of them were in any way involved.
The question is why the FBI would sign up a journalist at ABC while Cannistraro was also there as an expert, able to provide them with the same info since he was giving it to the reporter. The answer might be 'to check up on him'. The 'how' of such a thing is unknown--he was ex-CIA counter-terror and we've read umpteen stories about how the two don't get along. But there was also supposedly a "wall" between FBI and CIA at the time, so maybe people were trying to pass notes around it using former players. The story says:
FBI officials declined to identify the reporter, but confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity that the bureau did in fact treat the reporter as a potential confidential source for a limited period of time as it tried to ascertain the validity of the information suggesting Iraqi involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing.Which seems to suggest they didn't trust Cannistraro. Iraq was getting blamed for a lot back then, even by the president, but an act of war was something that couldn't be spun politically. They also had to worry about being played by the Saudis. Obviously they didn't trust Davis' investigation, rebuffing her many times then finally taking her dossier only to lose it.
Then again, Davis' data is heavy on the circumstantial and light on the evidence. She failed to convince me that Hussein al-Hussaini, a Shia Muslim Iraqi immigrant whose artist father was targeted by Saddam, was in any way involved in the event. The man was recently busted for drunk and disorderly in Massachusetts--why would be still be in America? The Iraqi connection to Oklahoma City seems to be missing quite a few dots.
However, she did help advance the Terry "the farmer" Nichols goes to Cebu City to get bomb-making tips from Ramzi Yousef story, which if ever proven true would leave some bigtime splainin' for the Clinton bunch since they let everyone believe it was only far right radicals (which is why it will never happen in our lifetimes, Wiki Leaks or not).