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FBI looking for more undisclosed McVeigh documents

Bomber tells newspaper there was no 'John Doe No. 2'

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- FBI field offices were redoubling efforts Tuesday to look for documents that may not have been turned over to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh's defense.

In the meantime, McVeigh told a newspaper that there was no accomplice called "John Doe No. 2."

The FBI had distributed a sketch of a man believed to have been seen with McVeigh. That suspect became known as John Doe No. 2. But in a letter to the Houston Chronicle, McVeigh said there was no such man.

The letter was dated May 2, said the Chronicle, a week before the FBI disclosed its blunder in not turning over documents.

graphic VIDEO
CNN's Kelli Arena reports on an outdated computer system that the FBI blames for the missing McVeigh evidence (May 12)

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CNN's Wolf Blitzer reports on what the McVeigh execution delay may mean for McVeigh and Nichols (May 11)

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McVeigh lawyer Robert Nigh says his client will evaluate new information to decide whether he now wants fo fight execuition

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graphic DOCUMENTS
What the FBI withheld:
• About 3,100 pages of documents and pieces of evidence including "Form 302" documents that give the essence of interviews that FBI agents conducted following the Oklahoma City bombing.

MORE DETAILS
FBI documents from special agent in charge (FindLaw) (PDF format)
Documents in PDF format require Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™ for viewing.
graphic ALSO
Ashcroft: No more delays for McVeigh
Keating: 'How can there be anything wrong?'
Previous FBI controversies
Newly revealed FBI documents prompt Nichols' appeal
More on the McVeigh execution
graphic MESSAGE BOARDS

The letter was written in response to a reporter's question about remarks from McVeigh's former attorney, Stephen Jones, that McVeigh had always inflated his role in the bombing.

McVeigh rejects Jones' assertions in the letter, writing, "And last, does anyone honestly believe that if there was a John Doe #2 (there is not), that Stephen Jones would still be alive? ... Think about it."

The Baltimore field office of the FBI found an additional seven files last Thursday, the FBI said.

Those documents were not included in an original batch of 700 documents totaling over 3,000 pages that the FBI failed to turn over to McVeigh's attorneys. Once again, FBI officials contend the documents do not in any way contradict McVeigh's guilt.

The FBI said any comments made over the weekend by defense attorneys and the Department of Justice were made with full knowledge that the Baltimore documents had been forwarded to all interested parties.

McVeigh had been scheduled to die by lethal injection on May 16, but Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed the execution until June 11 after news that the FBI failed to give documents in the Oklahoma City bombing case to McVeigh's attorneys.

McVeigh, 33, was convicted of blowing up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995. The bombing killed 168 people, making it the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

CNN has learned more details about the timeline of the document search. Archivists began to pull together information from all FBI field offices in December. In January, there was an indication that new material was being found, sources said.

By March it was becoming clearer that new information was being found in greater numbers. About three weeks ago, the FBI's "Oklahoma Bomb Task Force" in Oklahoma City informed the head of the task force in Dallas, Danny Defenbaugh, that it had accumulated more than 700 documents.

The material was immediately sent to Dallas for review, which took about two weeks as information was double-checked. It was only last week that the review was completed and FBI headquarters and prosecutors were informed.

Sources said those in charge of the review decided not to inform headquarters until additional checks could be made to determine that the documents had not been turned over to McVeigh's defense attorneys in other formats.



RELATED STORIES:
McVeigh prosecutors predict execution will go forward
May 14, 2001
Senators lining up to question FBI
May 13, 2001

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