OU Bombing Death Not Terrorist-Related

Sunday, July 16th 2006, 1:50 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A University of Oklahoma student from Colorado who blew himself up outside a packed football stadium was not a terrorist, the state's top FBI agent said.

``We have no evidence he had a social or political agenda that he was trying to bring attention to,'' Salvador Hernandez, the FBI's special agent in charge in Oklahoma, told The Oklahoman. ``We don't consider this terrorism the way we define it. There would have to be a cause.''

Joel ``Joe'' Henry Hinrichs III, an engineering student, died Oct. 1 when his bomb went off at a campus bench a short distance from an OU night football game.

Fans inside the packed stadium heard the blast during the second quarter of OU's game against Kansas State.

Hernandez disclosed the FBI interviewed more than 200 people during the bombing investigation but never found any evidence that Hinrichs had extremist views or ties to extremist groups.

Hernandez would not speculate whether the student intentionally set off the bomb on the bench as a suicide or if he also had intended to harm others and the bomb went off prematurely.

``None of us can know what was going on in his head,'' Hernandez said.

Hernandez described Hinrichs, 21, as a loner who had a longtime interest in explosives.

Hinrichs, who was from Colorado Springs, Colo., was very bright, but his grades had slipped at OU, the agent said.

Hernandez said agents did not find any conclusive evidence Hinrichs tried to enter the stadium. They found no evidence he bought or tried to buy a football ticket, Hernandez said.

Agents viewed hours and hours of tapes from stadium security cameras but never spotted Hinrichs, Hernandez said.

He said fellow students knew Hinrichs was interested in and had experimented with bombs and they should have reported it to law enforcement.

Agents could not reconstruct much of what Hinrichs did the day of the bombing, a Saturday. They believe he was on the Internet in the morning. They believe about 6:15 p.m. he typed, ``None of you are worth living with. You can all kiss my ass,'' on his apartment computer. They believe he then walked to where he died. The bomb went off about 7:30 p.m.