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Statement of Special Agent in Charge Danny Defenbaugh Regarding OKBOMB Documents

Washington, D.C. May 11, 2001
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

The investigation into the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, referred to as "OKBOMB", was one of the most labor intensive efforts in FBI history. This investigation produced millions of records, including 23,290 pieces of evidence, over 238,000 photographs, and in excess of 28,000 interviews.

The OKBOMB Task Force and Director Freeh requested all FBI offices to forward items and documentation relating to the investigation to the Task Force. On numerous occasions, commencing in the fall of 1995, we sought and obtained numerous assurances from FBI field offices and legal attaches that diligent searches for documents had taken place and that all matters relating to the investigation had been made available for inclusion in the discovery process.

In December of 2000, the FBI initiated procedures to ensure that all OKBOMB investigative records were appropriately archived. Over the course of the last several months, the FBI exercised due diligence to ensure that all records created as a result of the investigation were logged into and compared with each of 26 data bases which serve as a repository for information. During this process it was determined that some of the materials from various FBI field offices were not a part of the investigative database. Moreover, this was the first time the OKBOMB task force had seen these materials, and none were used in the Government's case. I informed senior FBI officials at Headquarters for the first time on Tuesday, May 8, 2001 that the archiving process had turned up these materials.

These materials included results of interviews, notes, and transmittal envelopes which contain physical items.

The FBI is working closely with the prosecutors and the Justice Department to carefully review each item. The materials have been provided to the defense attorneys, who are also reviewing each of the items to ensure that there is nothing that bears on the convictions or sentences of Timothy McVeigh or Terry Nichols.

I have been advised that the Attorney General has ordered an immediate inquiry into this matter by the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General.