FBI sought satellite pics after bombing

Thursday, June 8, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the months after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the FBI tried to buy satellite photos from a Russian company to track Timothy McVeigh's movements before the attack, a newly released FBI teletype shows.

The teletype, filed Friday in federal court in Salt Lake City, is the latest disclosure ordered for an insurance lawyer who is dogging the FBI for information about its bombing investigation.

The lawyer, Jesse Trentadue, is seeking evidence he contends will show that federal agents were tipped off to McVeigh's plans but failed to stop the bombing, which killed 168 people.

McVeigh was convicted on federal murder charges and executed in 2001.

Trentadue is also trying to prove that his brother -- a bank robber who died in federal custody after being picked up on a parole violation -- was mistaken for an associate of McVeigh's in the frantic search for conspirators after the bombing, and was killed by federal agents during an interrogation.

The disclosure of the FBI's effort to buy the photos was a surprise, Trentadue said.

"I never heard of that, period. Nothing," Trentadue said Wednesday by telephone from Spain, where he was vacationing. "We're buying photographs from the Russians?"

The Russian company, Sovinformsputnik, did not have the pictures the bureau was looking for, according to the teletype.

The FBI had no immediate comment.

An Oklahoma newspaper reported in December that in the days after the bombing, the U.S. government trained a spy satellite on a white separatist compound in Oklahoma where McVeigh had stayed before the bombing.

About two months later, the FBI turned to the Russian company for satellite pictures of "certain" places in the continental U.S. at "pertinent" times, according to the teletype.

On the Net:

Sovinformsputnik: http://www.sovinformsputnik.com

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