CBSN

Bombing Conspiracy Discounted

A county grand jury which spent 18 months investigating the Oklahoma City bombing says there is no evidence that the Federal government knew the blast was coming. Correspondent Emory Bryan from KOTV-TV reports the grand jury also found that no one other than Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols were involved in the 1995 explosion.

Although the grand jury rejected numerous conspiracy theories, they did return one sealed indictment. The grand jury then called for state charges to be brought against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

CBS News legal affairs analyst Andrew Cohen believes the indictment does not hold any surprises.

"Sometimes grand juries look at the big picture and find small pieces, and it may be that this indictment goes to one of those smaller pieces" Cohen says.

"I can not conceive of a scenario where the indictment is actually going to name another co-conspirator of the Oklahoma City bombing because the grand jury, in its report, said they found no such evidence of any person at this time."

As Judge William Burkett read the 21-page grand jury report in open court, it was clear that no new light was shed on the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City.

"We cannot affirmatively state that absolutely nobody else was involved in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murray Federal building" Burkett said. "However, we have not been presented with or uncovered information sufficient to indict any co-conspirators."

The report covered much of the same information presented in the trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Both men were convicted in federal court of the bombing that killed 168 people and injured more than 500. McVeigh received a death sentence, Nichols life in prison.

The grand jury rejected numerous conspiracy theories.

"We can state with assurance that we do not believe the federal government had prior knowledge this horrible terrorist attack was going to happen. We also do not believe this was a sting operation that went to far or a terrorist attack conceived or financed by individuals outside the country. This was an attack perpetrated by Americans on Americans" Burkett read.

Former State Representative Charles Key, a leading proponent of the grand jury investigation, still believes the report is incomplete and that key evidence has yet to be revealed.

"You can't put 1,034 fingerprints to rest" says Key. "They should have been run three and a half years ago. And they should have been brought out in the trials that have already occurred."

Key said the report had "huge gaping holes." He said his private investigation committee's report, scheduled to be completed next month, "will read quite differently."

Before the grand jury began its probe, Key said there were 20 witnesses with knowledge of John Doe No. 2, the mystery suspect depicted in FBI sketches shortly after the attack.

Te grand jury said the testimony of about 26 witnesses on John Doe No. 2 offered conflicting descriptions, noting he could have been from 5-foot-3 to 6-foot-3 and have a "slim and skinny to stocky or muscular" build.

Paul Heath, a survivor of the bombing, believes the grand jury report is complete. "Let's put it to rest. It's time for us to move on" Heath says.

Judge William Burkett said he hopes the city can now move on.