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FBI: McVeigh discussed other bombing targets


DALLAS (CNN) -- Within the first days after the arrest of Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing, investigators turned up information that he might have planned other attacks, the FBI told CNN.

"There were other federal buildings that were mentioned," Danny Defenbaugh, the lead FBI investigator, told CNN Correspondent Susan Candiotti in an exclusive interview, referring to potential targets in Dallas and Omaha.

The April 19, 1995 blast killed 168 people, including 19 children, in the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

The FBI was concerned Timothy McVeigh had other explosives ready for other targets. CNN's Susan Candiotti reports

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McVeigh expresses no remorse and calls the children killed in the bombing "collateral damage."

"I understand what they felt in Oklahoma City. I have no sympathy for them," McVeigh told the authors of "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing."

The authors Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck, reporters for The Buffalo News, said in a taped interview for ABC 's "PrimeTime Thursday" that McVeigh told them he did not know there was a day-care center inside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

"If I had known there was an entire day-care center, it might have given me pause to switch targets. That's a large amount of collateral damage," McVeigh said, according to the ABC interview.

Defenbaugh, the lead FBI agent, told CNN he has no doubt McVeigh knew the children were there. Fifteen children inside the day-care center were killed when the bomb ripped through the building; four others elsewhere in the building were killed.

"No matter what and how you go by that building, if you look at the building, you're going to see all the little cut-out hands, all the little apples and flowers showing that there's a kindergarten there -- that there are children in that building," Defenbaugh said.

He said McVeigh may have been planning other attacks for Dallas and Omaha. But when the FBI found McVeigh kept his bomb ingredients in Kansas storage lockers, agents worried he might have more stockpiles somewhere else.

"We sent out within two weeks of that letters to every storage facility in the United States," he said.

They found nothing more, and added the episode to a case file that now holds 1 billion records from checking out various leads.

"It was, and still is, probably the largest, most labor-intensive investigation ever conducted by the FBI," said Defenbaugh, a career agent for more than 30 years.

He said he's asked most frequently about whether others were involved.

Even though witnesses first said there was a John Doe #2, the FBI concluded McVeigh acted largely alone, because of a hot apple pie he bought at a McDonald's in Junction City, Kansas, minutes before renting the bomb truck. A security camera caught McVeigh on film.

"There was no one else who came in with him, who was involved with him, who sat with him, who talked with him, who left with him, no indication whatsoever that there was anyone else," he said.

His only accomplice was ex-Army buddy Terry Nichols, since convicted of helping plot the bombing. The FBI found a getaway map in a garbage can at Nichols' home, and because of markings on that, Defenbaugh thinks McVeigh may have stopped along the escape route to watch the bomb go off.

"My personal opinion is that, to build a bomb that big, to do that type of devastation, that you'd actually want to watch it," Defenbaugh said.

McVeigh has given up all his appeals. He is scheduled to be executed May 16 at the Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Defenbaugh said McVeigh is a pariah, even to anti-government militia groups.

"He's not a martyr. He's a cold-blooded killer," the FBI official said.

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Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Department of Justice
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Oklahoma State Government
Death Penalty Information Center
US Federal Bureau of Prisons

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