In the days after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the U.S. government used a spy satellite to gather intelligence on a white separatist compound in Oklahoma, according to a published report. The McCurtain Daily Gazette reported Wednesday that it had obtained a Secret Service log indicating that on May 2, 1995, two weeks after the April 19 bombing, the FBI was trying to locate suspects for questioning. They were thought to be in Elohim City, a compound near the town of Muldrow.
"Satellite assets have been tasked to provide intelligence concerning the compound," the document says. Shown a copy, Secret Service spokesman Jonathan Cherry told The Associated Press he could not confirm it was a Secret Service document and declined further comment.
There was no indication in the document of what information the satellite might have gathered, or what the spacecraft was capable of doing. U.S. officials typically rely on photo-reconnaissance satellites to gather intelligence from space on hostile governments and foreign terrorists. It would be unusual to use such a satellite domestically.
Timothy McVeigh was executed in 2001 for the bombing, which killed 168 people. Terry Nichols, his co-defendant, is serving a life sentence. Theories have persisted that a group of white supremacist bank robbers with ties to Elohim City may have played a role in the bombing. But prosecutors have rejected such theories, reports the AP. N.U.