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FBI Rules Out Terrorism in Theft

August 2, 1998

BRUCETON MILLS, W.Va. (AP) _ The FBI says it has found no links to domestic or international terrorist groups in the theft of 25 tons of ammonium nitrate, 10 times the amount used in the Oklahoma City bombing.

The FBI closed down its command post Saturday after conducting scores of interviews and checking with agricultural and mining customers of Bruceton Farm Supplies, the store where the chemical was taken from a storage bin. The theft was reported Wednesday.

Agents also fanned out into nearby sections of Pennsylvania and Maryland, interviewing farmers, strip miners and construction companies, all of whom might have a use for the white granular chemical _ either as a fertilizer or explosive.

``We’re leaning more toward the theory that this might have been a simple theft,″ said Jeff Killeen, an agent in the FBI’s Pittsburgh office.

Ammonium nitrate was a component of the bomb used to destroy the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds of others.

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