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Calls linked to Okla. bombing

Telephone records of Oklahoma City bombing suspects Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols reveal that dozens of calls were made before the blast to Kansas and Missouri chemical and fertilizer dealers, explosives manufacturers and companies that supply racing fuel.

The FBI records _ roughly the size of a small-city telephone directory _ were obtained by the Kansas City Star. The records detail more than 2,000 calls and provide the first glimpse into how the government built its case by tracing events leading up to the April 19, 1995, explosion.

Prosecutors are likely to use the phone records to bolster their theory that McVeigh and Nichols planned the act together. But defense attorneys said one issue will be proving who made the calls.

The records reveal an interest in anti-government groups as early as mid-1993. A call was made from McVeigh's phone number to the National Alliance, a white supremacist organization, a month after the raid at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

The Star's examination found the calls increased in frequency in the fall of 1994 and continued until two days before the explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168.

McVeigh's trial is set for March 31.