Potential Bomb Threat Averted
An Attempted bomb threat by a domestic terrorist was averted Saturday morning.
The United States Attorney’s Western Office in Oklahoma stated, “According to a criminal complaint filed in the Western District of Oklahoma yesterday, the FBI arrested [Jerry] Varnell at approximately 1:00 am on August 12, 2017,” the office said, “after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van he had parked in an alley next to BancFirst.”
The complaint description stated that Varnell would be arrested for the “malicious attempted destruction of a building used in and affecting interstate commerce by means of an explosive.”
Varnell initially wanted to blow up the federal reserve building last year the way Timothy McVeigh had in Oklahoma City in 1995.
The complaint said later in April the person known as CHS-1, a Confidential Human Source, claimed Varnell had a bunker for when the United States ‘collapsed’, and “Varnell was in the process of outfitting the bunker with supplies.”
Some of these supplies were to create a ‘team’, Varnell had told CHS-1 “ I’m out for blood. When militias start getting formed i’m going after government officials when I have a team.”
Varnell reportedly wanted to have enough “‘ammonium-nitrate’ for a bomb big enough for a five story building.”
Banc First sent out a statement since his arrest.
“BancFirst has been working cooperatively with the FBI. At no time were employees, customers or the general public ever in any danger. We believe our BancFirst downtown Oklahoma City building was a random and convenient selection by the suspect. There is no further threat or reason for concern. We take comfort and our company embraces a deep appreciation and admiration for the men and women of the FBI for their diligent and dedicated work in protecting our nation.”
Justin S, Oklahoma City, who preferred not to share his last name or title, was relieved to find his workplace hadn’t been destroyed over the weekend.
“I think [Varnell’s plans] were horrible. I work very close to the Murrah building, and I was in the 8th grade when [the Murrah Bombing] happened,” he said. “To think that we still have domestic terrorists out there is concerning.”
The Murrah Bombing, which Varnell attempted to imitate, killed 168 people including several children, in Downtown OKC.
In the complaint against him, Varnell said he did not want to hurt anyone, but rather to show his extreme disgust for the American government.
He’s still in police custody, and could face up to 20 years in prison.