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DOES FAX HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH BLAST?

A freshman Republican congressman from Texas says he received a cryptic fax on the day of the Oklahoma City bombing that mentioned a bomb and Oklahoma.

The fax was sent from Michigan, possibly by a man who has distributed instructional paramilitary tapes. Rep. Steve Stockman's staff initially tossed the memo in the trash, he said, but they later fished it out and sent it to the FBI.Stockman confirmed Sunday that he was faxed a memo last Wednesday. "You get weird stuff all the time, so we didn't think anything about it," he said.

He said that when his staff informed him of the memo, "I said, `Turn it over to the FBI.' My staff fished it out of the wastebasket and turned it over to the FBI."

Aides forwarded the handwritten message to the National Rifle Association the following day, asking if it could help identify the sender, NRA spokesman Tom Wyld said.

The oblique message appears to be a report from the scene:

"First update. Bldg 7 to 10 floors only. Military people on scene - BATF/FBI. Bomb threat received last week. Perpetrator unknown at this time. Oklahoma."

The word "Oklahoma" was underlined and the machine that sent the handwritten message said "Wolverine" at the top, Wyld said.

According to the time stamp at the top of the fax, it was sent at "08:59" (8:59 a.m.) from a Michigan area code in the Eastern time zone. If the time on the fax is accurate, it would have been 7:59 a.m. in Oklahoma City, before the bombing.

The bomb exploded in Oklahoma at 9:04 a.m. CDT, or 10:04 a.m. EDT.

On April 21 - two days after the bombing - the NRA referred the memo to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Federal authorities, as part of their massive investigation into the bombing, are trying to learn more about the memo, according to broadcast reports. Stockman denied there was any delay in forwarding it to the FBI.

An FBI spokeswoman told the AP she had no information about the memo.

Stockman, a gun control opponent, defeated 21-term Rep. Jack Brooks, a Democrat, in November, in a race that centered on Brooks' support for the crime bill that passed last year, which contained a ban on 19 types of assault-style weapons.