FBI Says Anti-Government Extremist Wanted To Replicate OKC Bombing

Monday, August 14th 2017, 7:05 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The FBI says an anti-government extremist wanted to replicate the darkest day in Oklahoma City's history.

Federal investigators say he planned to use a bomb to level a bank in downtown Oklahoma City. 

Jerry Drake Varnell of Sayre was picked up over the weekend after an eight-month federal investigation. Authorities say he planned to level the BancFirst building downtown using the same type of bomb Timothy McVeigh used in 1995.

Court documents show he told a paid informant, "I'm out for blood."

Feds say Varnell tried to recruit people to help him. They went to the FBI and a paid informant got Varnell the materials he thought would make a bomb. 

Last Friday night, investigators say, Varnell drove what he thought was a thousand pound bomb he made to the bank and tried to detonate it. "Where it was positioned within that loading dock in close proximity to those buildings it would cause severe damage to those buildings," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda.

Feds say Varnell was not affiliated with any militia, political or terrorist group and they believe he acted alone. 

Court documents show Varnell chose to detonate the bomb at night because, "Well I don't want to kill a bunch of people."

Rather, Varnell said he wanted to make a statement. He even wrote an explanation that would be put on social media after the explosion reading, "What happened in Oklahoma City was not an attack on America," and that, "Revolution is now." 

"Our agents and task force partners spent countless hours working days and nights and weekends on this investigation to ensure our city did not have to endure another Oklahoma city bombing," Bujanda said.

Varnell appeared in federal court this afternoon. Before his appearance, he was smiling and joking with another inmate. But feds say this is no joking matter. If convicted, Varnell faces up to 20-years in prison and a $250,000 fine.