Thursday, March 02, 2006

Crying terrorist

Michelle Malkin brings us a fresh update on the Oklahoma suicide bomber who was killed last year in Norman. Recall, if you will, that Malkin and her cronies drummed up the case last year because they believed that the bomber, a young fellow named Joel Hinrichs, might have ties to Islamic terrorists.

Except that, well, he didn't.

She links to a Daily Oklahoman story that finds the following:
A Norman police bomb expert said Tuesday he does not believe University of Oklahoma student Joel Henry Hinrichs III committed suicide by blowing himself up outside a packed football stadium.
"I believe he accidentally blew himself up," Sgt. George Mauldin said.

Mauldin said Hinrichs, 21, an engineering student, had two to three pounds of triacetone triperoxide, commonly known as TATP, in a backpack in his lap when it exploded Oct. 1.

When asked if he believed Hinrichs meant to enter the stadium with the explosives, Mauldin replied, "I don't believe he intended for an explosion to occur at that spot (on the park bench)."

In other words, it seems possible he intended for the detonation to occur inside the stadium. But it's only one of several possibilities -- including that he was carrying the device for thrills and didn't intend for it to go off at all.

In any event, there's simply no evidence whatsoever in the story that Hinrichs may have been an Islamic terrorist -- which Malkin, it must be said, doesn't suggest explicitly this time out. But given her previous coverage of the case, that appears to be the entire purpose of this post, complete with nyah-nyahs at the many people who had good reasons -- and still do -- for doubting that he was an Islamic terrorist.

As I pointed out before, it's far more likely he was more in the Tim McVeigh vein of bomber. That doesn't seem to have crossed Malkin's radar just yet.

Curious, that. Especially since the Oklahoma Daily covered the same event, and carried further remarks from the same Sgt. Maugham:
The suspicions of an Islamic connection were shown to be false, Mauldin said.

... Mauldin said he thought of members of the American Taliban when he saw the driver license photograph.

"They all thought the same thing I thought," Mauldin said. "This looks like an Islamic terrorist."

But while Mauldin and others did have initial reactions, he said many media misrepresented the facts in the aftermath of the explosion, speculating about whether Hinrichs attempted to enter the stadium and whether he was connected to Muslim organizations in Norman.

It's one thing to have an initial suspicion based on appearances. It's completely another to cling desperately to that suspicion when all the succeeding evidence makes it clearly groundless.

[Hat tip to Malkin(s)Watch, and commenter Cam.]

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