OKLAHOMA CITY – The FBI has released long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
The soundless recordings show people rushing from nearby buildings after the fertilizer bomb went off. They don't show the actual explosion outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
The tapes were obtained by an attorney and provided to The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman, the newspaper reported Sunday.
Some of them show people fleeing their buildings through corridors cluttered with fallen debris.
The FBI this summer released more than 20 recordings made from surveillance camera tapes recovered in downtown Oklahoma City. A Utah attorney, Jesse Trentadue, obtained the recordings through the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Trentadue gave them to The Oklahoman because of their historical value. The Oklahoman has agreed to provide copies to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
Many of the recordings are identified as coming from buildings near the Murrah Building. FBI agents did not report finding any security tapes from the Murrah Building itself.
Some of the images were used as evidence at bomber Timothy McVeigh's trial. McVeigh was executed in 2001. Coconspirator Terry Nichols is serving life in prison.
The Oklahoman in 2006 published images from post-blast security videotapes it obtained from a source.
The blast on April 19, 1995, killed 168 people and injured hundreds. It was the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The FBI in the past refused to release the security camera recordings. That led some — including a U.S. congressman — to contend the government was hiding evidence that others were involved in the attack.
Trentadue began his own inquiry into the bombing after his brother died at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center in August 1995. He alleges guards mistook his brother for a bombing suspect and killed his brother during an interrogation. The official cause of his brother's death is listed as suicide.