OU Suicide Bombing (update, of a sort)
So it’s been five days since Joel Henry Hinrichs blew himself up outside my building. The best source of information I have come across is the Wikipedia article, but that does not delve into the rumours that are flying around. There are verified reports that he tried to buy ammonium nitrate a few days before the bombing, but the store clerk refused to sell it to him because he couldn’t say how much he needed or what he needed it for. There are unconfirmed rumours (or, at least unconfirmed as far as I can tell) that he was attending mosque regularly and that he tried to enter the stadium but was refused entry because he did not allow them to search his backpack. Whether this is true or not is unknown – I was hearing that story almost from the start, and to me it seemed like it started as speculation by the reporters on the scene. While people are now saying that “someone” saw it, I am inclined to take it with a grain of salt. I’m sure there are security cameras that recorded the whole thing, I am sure that whether he had a ticket or not is verifiable…we’ll hear something sooner or later, which will contain some aspects of the truth, but probably not the whole truth.
It’s still mostly sad. They replaced the bench he blew himself up on by Monday afternoon. I don’t think I’d want to sit on the new bench though. What drove him to do this? The other wild speculation – whether there might be some deeper plot behind it, and the simple fact that, hey, someone blew themselves up outside my building really haven’t sank in. I don’t feel any real sense of danger about the whole thing. Of course, someone could have made a bigger bomb and walked into the building at 9:20 am any morning, when the corridors are packed with people, and have hurt as many people as they wanted to. There is no such thing as absolute security, just measured risks.
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