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Oklahoma Suicide Bomber

Why are the facts about the suicide bomber who detonated prematurely being kept from us? What is it about the OU suicide bomber that we cant know about?

Bomb material found in student�s apartment

By Jane Glenn Cannon and Jennifer Jackson
The Oklahoman

NORMAN - Local and federal law officers worked Sunday to remove what was described as a cache of explosive material from the apartment of a man who died in a bombing the night before.

OU students react

Joel Henry Hinrichs III, 21, a junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., died in the explosion, FBI officials said.

Investigators believe Hinrichs detonated a bomb about 8 p.m. Saturday, just 100 yards away from a packed football stadium.

Officials confirmed Sunday a cache of explosive material later was found inside Hinrichs� residence at the university- owned Parkview Apartments, southeast of Lindsey Street and Stinson Avenue.

The FBI, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and Norman police�s bomb squad were removing the material Sunday evening.

Police were overheard telling residents it would take �several trips and could take up to 24 hours� to remove it all.

Four buildings at Parkview Apartments, including the building where Hinrichs lived, were cordoned off with police tape.

Mike McMahon, who lives across the street from Hinrichs� building, said he was on his porch at 3 a.m. Sunday �when they (police) started moving in.�

�That�s when the (yellow crime scene) tape went up,� McMahon said.

Whitney Pearson said she woke at 9 a.m. to find police blocking access to George Street where she lives. Across the street, she could see crime scene tape snaking around buildings at Parkview Apartments.

�I talked to police, and they told me I would be safe as long as I stayed on my side of the tape,� Pearson said.

OU and Norman police officers were posted at intersections to keep people away from the taped-off area. FBI and ATFE agents could be seen moving in and out of the buildings most of the day.

A canister trailer used for detonating or transporting potentially explosive material was being used to haul items away.

They started removing items after 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Boren said reports about authorities finding an unexploded bomb Saturday night were false.

Investigators did set off a second explosion, but it involved a suspicious object located near the blast site that did not contain a bomb, Boren said.

Law enforcement acted quickly and efficiently responding to the emergency, Boren said.

�Student safety is our number one concern,� Boren said.

FBI investigators packaged and removed the bench where the bomber was seated when the explosives went off.

A scorched patch marred the sidewalk where the bench had been removed.

Crime scene tape blocking access to the South Oval was removed by Sunday afternoon. Tape was repositioned around a bus and limousine parked on the oval in front of George Lynn Cross Hall, OU�s botany-microbiology building, prior to Saturday night�s game. Blood spattered the lower length of the bus.

No other damage to the area, including the microbiology building, was apparent.

Officials said Hinrichs� motive for blowing himself up Saturday near the Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during the second quarter of OU�s game against Kansas State remains under investigation.

OU President David Boren said Hinrichs was a student �who had very, serious personal problems that led to this tragic death.�

Because of what happened, Boren said, the FBI had taken over the investigation.

Boren said the student had explosives strapped to his body.

Investigators would not say whether they believe Hinrichs intended to go inside the stadium before the detonation happened.

"We are dealing with an individual death caused by an explosive device,� Boren said. �There is no continuing threat to the students at OU.�

Boren said OU classes would be held as usual Oct. 3.

Notified of his son�s death Sunday, Hinrichs� father said he was still processing what happened and did not trust himself to say much.

�I don�t want him defined by whatever limitations led him to this,� said Joel H. Hinrichs Jr. of Colorado Springs. �He was quite introverted. He was a very quiet, introverted, intelligent young man. I can�t approximate what led him to make such a final decision.�

Hinrichs Jr., who broke down in tears during a brief phone interview with The Oklahoman, said he plans to have his son�s remains cremated and the ashes sent back to Colorado.


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