Terrorist attacks have been recorded all over the world, with major targets being promising nations. These activities are carried out by malicious individuals who purpose to satisfy their own agenda by wrecking the infrastructure of an area. These activities are usually in the form of suicide bombings or planting the explosives in the targets. Over the years, there has been a rise in the number of incidences that show terrorist links. This is favored by greed and psychopathic behavior, which implies that weak nations seek recognition of vengeance on their antagonists. It is a common misconception that all terrorist activities are caused by one particular group.
Many terrorists study how to use explosive materials to wreak havoc in an area or group of people. For instance, the bombing of Murrah Building in the United States of America shows that the suspect used TNT as the explosive chemical.
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This paper studies terrorist attacks in the United States of America, specifically the Oklahoma City Bombing. The paper uses secondary data in assembling a report on the occurrence of the event and its investigative report. The paper explains how this activity was planned and how the destructive tools that were used were assessed by the forensics team.
The bombing incident that happened in Oklahoma City was done on a building called Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. This was an attack carried out by a security guard and an ex-soldier named Timothy McVeigh. Timothy parked his car near the building with the intentions of bombing the area. This was an intended incident of mass murder, where the terrorist planted the explosive in an area that hosts a large population so as to increase the number of causalities. This event occurred on April 19, 1995. The vehicle was a Ryder that was rented by the security guard. The vehicle carried a very powerful bomb, which was manufactured from a wide variety of agricultural fertilizers, chemical substances and diesel fuel. This happened at exactly 9:02 in the morning; the ex-soldier parked his Ryder and got out, then locked the car before heading towards his escape car and detonated the fuse. The bomb was very disastrous and the effects were quite devastating leaving the affected area resembling a war zone. A third of the Federal Murrah Building was the only part left after the explosion. Majority of its floors were flattened and utterly destroyed. Police reports show that a good number of vehicles suffered incineration and the nearby buildings were damaged by the explosion effect. The bombing left the city with a loss of one hundred and sixty eight citizens including nineteen children and hundreds of individuals injured from the blast.
The incident was a good example of the homegrown terrorism, where the organizer was an American citizen. It is still recorded as the worst of all the acts of terrorism in history from within the nation. These attacks usually find the victim unaware, thus, leave many in shock or result in instant deaths. Looking at the incident with the World Trade Center, which happened in 2001 in New York, a lot of Americans and the media blamed the attack on the terrorists from the Middle Eastern region. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) sprung into quick activity in finding the cause of the explosion and rescuing the injured (Michel, 2001). The forensics team jumped into the task of finding the tiny details of the incident. The firm insisted on rummaging the concrete and steel for clues and evidence that would give them a breakthrough in their investigation.
The authorities handling the Murrah case solicited for the photograph after sketching the perpetrator. In their investigations, the FBI located some parts of the Ryder vehicle that had a bomb planted in it. The rear axle of the car was found; this car part gave information regarding the identification number of the car which was easy to trace back to the shop it was bought in. The shop was located in Junction City in Kansas. It is here that the employees helped the authorities in forming an image of Timothy. This photograph was shown around the town and finally the name of the person was given as Tim McVeigh (Stein, 2003).
On April 21, the FBI received a call that gave them shocking news; the suspect was already in prison. Ninety minutes after the bombing Timothy was stopped by trooper who noticed his vehicle was lacking the license plate and he was also found to be in possession of illegal weapon.
Investigating agents began finding more evidence for bombing. Chemical traces were found on Timothy’s clothes and his business card was written on the price of the explosive. Timothy was considered an extremist, who was angry with the events that occurred at Waco two years before the bombing. These individuals are called extremists because they go to whatever extent to retaliate an action that they do not favor (Saferstein, 2011). After finding the traces of chemicals on his clothes, the forensics team later discovered that the bomb was built by Terry Nichols too, who was Timothy’s friend. Michael Fortier was also charged with abetting the activity because he was aware of the plot but did not report it to the authorities.
The chemicals were traced using the pH test. This is how the evidence or parts that were involved in the incident are studied for any traces of the explosive for it to be determined (Saferstein, 2011). The suspect’s clothes and belongings were then searched for the same compounds; after finding the same or any other suspicious chemicals, this presents the evidence. In this case, the TNT found on his clothes was supported by the business card that had writings of the same material. This is the same process that brought out the diesel components of the explosives. For the agricultural fertilizers, the presence of elements like nitrogen that are used in explosives, were easily distilled from the burnt material (Saferstein, 2011).
After facing prosecution, the state had a lot of evidence and facts that helped put Timothy in jail. This incident was recorded as the most involving and exhausting for the bureau. The convicted party was escorted to jail by FBI agents from Oklahoma courthouse on April 21, 1995. The total number of interviews was twenty eight thousand, which resulted into forty three thousand; this means there were three and half tons of evidence. Practically, nothing was left out of the investigation (Serrano, 1998). The system of government that Timothy wanted to punish ended up capturing and punishing him instead.
Terrorist attacks have been recorded all over the world, with major targets being promising nations. These activities are carried out by individuals who purpose to satisfy their own agenda by wrecking the infrastructure of some particular area. Explosives had become the contemporary code of war. Forensic scientists are still working to establish less involving procedures unlike the pH test. This will help reduce the time of investigation and find the solutions faster (Saferstein, 2011).
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