Washington, DC - Eric Holder, current attorney general of the United States, managed an FBI operation that provided explosives to Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols just prior to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, according to official documents released during the ongoing investigation into government foreknowledge of the supposed terrorist attack.
According to the documentation provided in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought against the Department of Justice by Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue, the Oklahoma City bombing had aspects of being an FBI sting operation that went out of control. Holder had authorized the FBI to provide explosives to Nichols and McVeigh, then lost track of both the explosives and their targets. McVeigh went on to detonate some of the explosives outside the federal building, an act that was designed to help anti-terrorism legislation pass Congress. But an additional case of explosives was unaccounted for.
After the bombing, when the FBI learned the location of the explosives, Holder reportedly sent emails to FBI agents ordering them to recover the explosives before they could be found by some other branch of the government. FBI agents failed to spot the additional, unexploded explosives during an initial search of Nichols’s home and offered to spare him the death penalty if he would help them recover them.
The case of explosives was, however, recovered by another law enforcement agency and was later determined to have the incriminating fingerprints of two FBI agents, as well as fingerprints of McVeigh and Nichols.
Shortly after the bombing, Kenneth Trentadue, a government informant, was murdered in his prison cell. His family has been pursuing legal action against the federal government ever since.
In 2001, in a bid to avoid a full release of documents, the Federal Bureau of Prisons paid a settlement of $1.1 million to several members of Trentadue’s family, but his brother refused to drop the investigation and filed a FOIA lawsuit for the missing documents. That suit has been ongoing in the Salt Lake City federal courthouse.