- A convicted neo-Nazi bank robber is expected to name
several other suspects in the Oklahoma City bombing when he testifies in
the trial of Terry Nichols.
- That stunning revelation came after an attorney for Nichols
spent 5 hours in prison Tuesday with Peter K. Langan Jr., an inmate serving
a life sentence for bank robbery and weapons violations.
- In a late night phone call from a federal facility in
Jonesville, Va., Langan confirmed to this newspaper that he has been placed
on the witness list for the upcoming mass-murder trial of Terry Nichols.
That trial is set to begin with jury selection in early March. Nichols
is facing 161 counts of first-degree murder as a result of the bombing
of the Oklahoma City federal building on April 19, 1995.
- In a tape-recorded interview with this newspaper, Langan
said Tuesday that he did not want to discuss specific details of his expected
testimony in the Nicholsí case, but he did make the stunning admission
that he would tie several men to the bombing conspiracy and at least one
other crime in which the government has previously alleged Nichols was
involved. Members of the legal team representing Nichols are under a gag
order and unable to comment on Langanís statements. Langan was a
leader of a gang of neo-Nazi bank bandits that robbed at least 22 banks
in seven Midwestern states during the mid-90s. Dubbed the Midwestern bank
bandits by the FBI, the gang actually called itself the Aryan Republican
Army (ARA). The gangís stated goal was the forceful overthrow of
- The FBI believes that beginning in January 1994, gang
members were responsible for a string of bank robberies intended to finance
the violent overthrow of the government through acts of terrorism.
- The FBI eventually seized a videotape made by the gang
where a plan was discussed to attack a federal building. The FBI later
determined that the tape was made in January 1995, just weeks before an
explosion ripped open the Oklahoma City federal building in downtown Oklahoma
City, killing 168.
- Immediately after the tape was made, the FBI says at
least four members of the ARA left their ìsafe houseî in Pittsburg,
Kan., traveling to Arizona where they disappeared into the desert for several
weeks. At this same time, evidence the FBI uncovered shows that Timothy
McVeigh returned to Arizona to pick up explosives the government says were
stored in Kingman. Other evidence published in the past by this newspaper
clearly indicates there are substantial links between members of Langanís
gang, Elohim City ñ a paramilitary compound near Muldrow ñ
and McVeigh. The government has previously said they investigated any links
between McVeigh and persons in Langanís gang and were unable to
find concrete evidence that anyone but Nichols and McVeigh were involved
in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Briefly explaining the scope of his
expected testimony, Langan indicated that he will provide evidence to the
jury that will tie McVeigh and the bomb plot to several men with very close
connections to the white supremacist enclave called Elohim City. Among
those Langan said he would implicate are White Aryan Resistance leader
Dennis Mahon; a former paramilitary trainer at Elohim City, Andreas Strassmeir;
former Aryan Nations leader Mark Thomas; and former ARA members Michael
Brescia and Kevin McCarthy. Mahon is believed to be living in Arizona now.
The former KKK leader was the target of an investigation by the Tulsa office
of the ATF before and after the bombing.
- Evidence collected by ATF informant Carol E. Howe disclosed
conversations she says she participated in where Mahon and Strassmeir discussed
plans to attack federal installations in Oklahoma. During the Nichols trial
in Denver, Colo., Howe testified that she saw McVeigh walking with Strassmeir
at Elohim City before the bombing. Bob Ricks, former FBI special agent
in charge of the Oklahoma City office, has stated that he intervened with
then-U.S. Attorney Steve Lewis of Tulsa and stopped the planned arrest
of Strassmeir before the bombing. Ricks has said he hoped to avoid a raid
on Elohim City because of expected casualties. Likely to support Langanís
testimony in McAlester are FBI records presented at Nicholsí Denver
bombing trial that show a phone call was made from a motel room in Arizona
before the bombing to Elohim City. The April 5, 1995 call was made seconds
after a Ryder Truck rental agency was contacted by phone also. The government
has said McVeigh was seeking information on truck sizes when he made the
phone call to the truck rental office in Arizona. Days later a Ryder rental
truck was rented in central Kansas that delivered the bomb that destroyed
the federal building.
- While Strassmeir and Mahon have never been charged for
any act of terrorism, McCarthy, Brescia and Thomas served short prison
sentences for various roles in the ARA crime spree. Each shared close connections
to Elohim City at the time of the bombing. Langan is expected to testify
that blasting caps and other physical items of evidence seized by the FBI
after gang members were arrested would link elements of the ARA to the
bombing in Oklahoma, as well as a gun robbery in November 1994, near Hot
- The FBI has alleged that Nichols perpetrated the robbery
of gun collector Roger Moore in order to finance the Oklahoma bomb plot.
Langan is also expected to testify that members of his gang perpetrated
the Arkansas gun robbery, not Nichols.