“The real story is what’s missing,” said Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney who obtained the recordings through the federal Freedom of Information Act as part of an unofficial inquiry he is conducting into the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.
Trentadue gave copies of the tapes to The Oklahoman newspaper, which posted them online and provided copies to The Associated Press.
The tapes turned over by the FBI came from security cameras various companies had mounted outside office buildings near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They are blank at points before 9:02 a.m., when a truck bomb carrying a 4,000 pound fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb detonated in front of the building, Trentadue said.
“Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995. There ain’t no such thing as a coincidence,” Trentadue said. He said government officials claim the security cameras did not record the minutes before the bombing because “they had run out of tape” or “the tape was being replaced.”
“The interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02,” he said. “The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn’t want anybody to see.
A spokesman for the FBI in Oklahoma City, Gary Johnson, declined to comment and referred inquiries about the tapes to FBI officials in Washington, who were not immediately available for comment Sunday.
The soundless recordings show people rushing from nearby buildings after the bomb went off. Some show people fleeing through corridors cluttered with debris. None show the actual explosion that ripped through the federal building.
FBI agents did not report finding any security tapes from the federal building itself.
The FBI in the past refused to release the security camera recordings, leading Trentadue and others to contend the government was hiding evidence that others were involved in the attack.
"It's taken a lawsuit and years to get the tapes," Trentadue said.