FBI had linked McVeigh to larger plot

WASHINGTON

FBI investigators in the Oklahoma City bombing gathered evidence linking Timothy McVeigh to white supremacists who the government had been told before the bombing were threatening to attack government buildings, investigative memos show.

Several of the documents were not provided to the bomber’s defense before he was convicted.

The FBI agent in charge of the investigation says he never received one teletype from his own headquarters that raised the possibility McVeigh was aided by other accomplices.

“They short-circuited the search for the truth,” McVeigh’s original attorney, Stephen Jones, said in an interview. “I don’t doubt Tim’s role in the conspiracy. But I think he clearly aggrandized his role, enlarged it, to cover for others who were involved.”

McVeigh was executed in June 2001.

Evidence gathered by The Associated Press includes hotel receipts, a speeding ticket, prisoner interviews, informant reports and phone records that suggest McVeigh had contact with a white supremacist compound in Oklahoma known as Elohim City and that members there were familiar with his plan.

West Bank violence mars Muslim holiday

BETHLEHEM, West Bank

Israeli forces tightened their grip on Bethlehem yesterday after a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier in front of the Church of the Nativity. Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in Gaza with a shell that explodes into thousands of deadly darts.

In the West Bank, soldiers killed a Palestinian teen during a clash in a refugee camp.

The violence came as Muslims marked Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, under stiff travel restrictions, imposed after Israeli officials said they had intelligence warnings that militants were planning major terror attacks during the four-day holiday.

Two Palestinians were climbing a fence early yesterday in an attempt to enter a Jewish settlement in northern Gaza, the military said, when they were killed. At Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, doctors showed reporters the body of one of the men, with a dart about 5 inches long protruding from his chest – part of a flechette shell.

A flechette shell spreads lethal darts over a wide area, and Israeli army spokeswoman Sharon Feingold said it was used because it was the most efficient weapon in the circumstances.

Lawsuit: Bush has no right to attack Iraq

BOSTON

President Bush does not have the authority to launch a military invasion of Iraq without a congressional declaration of war, according to a lawsuit expected to be filed in federal court in Boston today.

Six members of Congress, three U.S. servicemen and the parents of other U.S. military personnel said yesterday they would file the lawsuit that claims any U.S. invasion of Iraq without congressional authority would be unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs, led by U.S. Reps. John Conyers (D-Detroit) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), claim that the congressional declaration on Iraq last October did not specifically declare war and unlawfully gave Bush the right to make that decision, attorney John Bonifaz said.

The lawsuit will cite historical records, including the Constitutional Convention and the Federalist papers, that show framers of the constitution wanted to retain war-declaring powers within Congress, Bonifaz said.

Soldiers kill 17 during Bolivian tax riots

LA PAZ, Bolivia

Striking police and furious civilians clashed with government troops yesterday, touching off riots and looting that plunged the Bolivian capital into chaos.

At least 17 people were killed and 100 injured, and seven buildings were left in flames.

Government troops fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to quell the riots, which started when demonstrators stormed the presidential palace to protest government proposals to raise taxes and cut spending on social programs.

As smoke from fires swirled through La Paz’s historic center, President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada gave a nationally televised speech appealing for calm and announcing he would suspend the tax increases.

“I plead with all Bolivians to put an end to the violence and to begin honest negotiations,” Sanchez de Lozada said.

Bin Laden vows to be martyr on new tape

LONDON

A British-based Islamic news agency said today it has a new audio recording of Osama bin Laden in which he predicts he will die as “a martyr” this year in an attack against his enemies.

The Al-Ansaar news agency said that the 53-minute tape was allegedly recorded this month and acquired from a seller who advertised over the Internet.

Imran Khan, who runs Birmingham-based agency Al-Ansaar, told The Associated Press that he translated the tape, describing it as poetic with several verses from the Quran.

“In this final year I hurl myself and my steed with my soul at the enemy. Indeed on my demise I will become a martyr,” the al-Qaida leader purportedly says.

“I pray my demise isn’t on a coffin bearing green mantles. I wish my demise to be in the eagle’s belly,” he continues.

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