Omaha, NE.—Word that the Las Vegas shooter had his eyes trained on other cities—Chicago and Boston—immediately took me back 22 years, April of 1995 to be more exact.
Reporting from Oklahoma City just two days after 168 people—innocent men, women and children inside the Murrah Federal Building— were murdered and 650 others injured by terrorist Timothy McVeigh’s anti-government truck-bomb blast, a high placed federal source told me that McVeigh had been spotted at Omaha’s old federal building at 15th and Dodge Streets just days before the blast.
It would be six years before federal officials would begin confirming our chilling report, but in March, 2001— just weeks before McVeigh was executed by lethal injection—the FBI’s lead investigator in the case, Danny Defenbaugh, told CNN that McVeigh appeared to have planned attacks on Omaha and Dallas. “There were other federal buildings that were mentioned,” said Defenbaugh.
In 2004 during the federal court trial of McVeigh’s co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, the Omaha connection made the witness stand. According to published reports, Nichols ex-wife testified that following a phone call Nichols received from McVeigh on April 16, three days before the bombing, Nichols said he had to pick up McVeigh in Omaha.
One year later Mark James, who headed the Omaha office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 1995, told the Omaha World-Herald, “It’s my feeling then and now that it’s very likely Tim McVeigh was one of the intruders in our building the week before.”
James also told the paper that he is aware of other federal investigators who have concluded that McVeigh could not have been in Omaha those days before the bombing.
In 1995 Omaha’s (see video above) old federal building—now a hotel— was home to ATF and the IRS.