Oklahoma Man Arrested in Bombing Plot

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An Oklahoma man is under arrest after authorities say he tried to blow up a bank in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoman reports. Jerry Varnell, 23, tried to detonate what he thought was a vehicle bomb Saturday at the BancFirst headquarters. The device was inert. Varnell, of Sayre, Ok., initially wanted to bomb the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C. Last December, Varnell “expressed a desire to start a new revolution,” said FBI agent Raul Bujanda. “His targets included institutions with affiliations to the U.S. government located in Washington, D.C., which also included the financial sector.”

“He wanted to replicate the Oklahoma City bombing,” Bujanda said. The 1995 Oklahoma City bomb was 6,000 pounds. Authorities said an undercover FBI agent posed as someone who could help Varnell blow up the building. “Varnell then began acquiring components for what he believed would make a 1,000 pound improvised explosive device,” Bujanda said. The components included ammonium nitrate and other explosives that were, in fact, inert, and supplied by the FBI. “Based on what he had learned and just his overall language and how he was communicating with our undercover employee, he had the knowledge he had the skill,” Bujanda said. Varnell allegedly loaded the “bomb” into a cargo van he parked the van in the alley of BancFirst and fled to a safe location in order to remotely detonate the bomb with a cell phone.

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