Security tapes lack OU explosion clues

Saturday, October 8th 2005, 11:34 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ A completed review of University of Oklahoma stadium surveillance tapes by the FBI did not spot Joel Henry Hinrichs III trying to get inside.

Hinrichs died Oct. 1 when explosives _ made of hydrogen peroxide _ strapped to his body detonated while he sat on a park bench about 100 yards from the stadium.

After a week of investigation, the FBI and OU continue to treat the death as a suicide by a troubled loner, rather than a failed terrorist plot.

OU President David Boren announced Tuesday the FBI was reviewing tapes from cameras in and around the stadium. The review is done and Hinrichs is not seen trying to enter, The Oklahoman reported.

The student's bomb went off about 7:30 p.m., in the second quarter of OUs football game against Kansas State University with more than 80,000 fans in the stadium. The blast sounded like loud thunder and could be heard clearly inside Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

An OU spokeswoman said Thursday that OU records do not reflect the sale of a ticket to that game to Hinrichs. When the bomb exploded, Hinrichs was sitting on a bench outside George Lynn Cross Hall, OUs botany-microbiology building, officials said.

Boren said OU has surveillance cameras across campus but ``didn't have a camera positioned on the particular bench where this tragic incident occurred.''

The student's father, Joel Hinrichs Jr., said the FBI has told him the bomb was made of concentrated hydrogen peroxide. Experts said explosives made with this common household disinfectant are highly unstable.

The younger Hinrichs lived near an Islamic mosque, had a roommate from Pakistan, had other explosives in his apartment and had tried to buy ammonium nitrate two days before the attack. Those circumstances as well as some news reports have fueled public concern that the bomb was part of a larger plot.

Boren addressed those concerns twice last week - the latest on Thursday.

``I have been assured that law enforcement officials, including federal officials, have found no evidence of a conspiracy involving others which creates an ongoing threat to our OU community,'' Boren told students and faculty in a statement. ``They have kept me informed of the steps being taken in their investigation.''