WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man who sought to blow up a bomb in Oklahoma City has been arrested, US officials said Monday, recalling the 1995 bloody bombing of extremist Timothy McVeigh in the city itself.
Jerry Varnell, 23, was arrested on Saturday after trying to detonate what was believed to be a bomb made of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, similar to a McVay bomb, outside a branch of Bankfirst in the city center.
Farnell told an undercover FBI agent and another collaborator with the authorities that he wanted to attack the government, and his primary goal was the Federal Reserve headquarters near the White House in Washington.
He also thought of attacking information storage centers such as Facebook and internal revenue management, before settling on the bank in Oklahoma City, 210 kilometers from his home in the city of Sayer, Oklahoma.
"I think I will choose what the Oklahoma Center bomber used," Farnell told the covert customer in an encrypted message.
"What happened in Oklahoma City was a response, not an attack on America," he said. "Now is the time of the revolution."
McVay killed 168 people when he detonated a fertilizer bomb outside a federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, to be arrested, later convicted and then executed in 2001.
The announcement of the arrest of Farnell came two days after the clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, between right-wing groups and their opponents, which killed a woman.
Farnell told the investigators that he supports the right-wing extremist and anti-government "Three Percenters" movement and that he wanted to form his own militia, but according to the investigation he had told the undercover agent that he did not want to kill many people with his tank, unlike McVeigh.
He also told him that he wanted a way to deliver his message on the bomb to prevent other groups such as the terrorist group Da'ash from adopting the bombing.
According to the investigation, Farnell and the FBI agent made the bomb in a truckload of raw materials that the customer had secured.
The truck with the ineffective bomb was then parked in front of the bank, and Farnell was immediately arrested after trying to use a cell phone to detonate it on Saturday. Sf