Before 9/11, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil was carried out in Oklahoma City in 1995 by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, two anti-government radicals. The blast left 168 people, including many children, dead.
Someone apparently wanted a sequel.
Federal authorities were holding a man in custody Monday who domestic terrorism investigators said planned and tried to execute an anti-government bombing of an Oklahoma City bank.
Documents filed in federal district court say that Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, drove what he believed was a stolen van containing a 1,000-pound ammonium nitrate bomb early Saturday morning to an alley beside BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City.
There was, however, no real bomb. Varnell came under FBI surveillance several months ago, when he started discussing plans for a domestic bombing, and the people the terrorist suspect thought were his co-conspirators were actually law enforcement officials. As the NBC News report added, “The cell phone that Varnell believed was a detonator dialed law enforcement, and the getaway driver was an undercover agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The alleged terrorist was apparently another anti-government radical, and in a Facebook message he thought would be posted after his plot succeeded, Varnell wrote that the bombing was in “retaliation” for the “freedoms that have been taken away from the American people.”
The officials involved in this case are to be congratulated, of course, for preventing the suspect from hurting anyone, but the news got me thinking about Sebastian Gorka, an adviser to Donald Trump who routinely appears in the media.
Judd Legum had a good piece the other day on Gorka’s latest pitch.
Wednesday, Gorka appeared on Breitbart News Daily, the radio show of his former employer. Gorka responded to criticism stemming from a previous media appearance on MSNBC where he said “[t]here’s no such thing as a lone wolf” attack. The concept, according to Gorka, was “invented by the last administration to make Americans stupid.”
The idea of a “lone wolf attack,” Gorka says, is a ruse to point blame away from al Qaeda and ISIS when “[t]here has never been a serious attack or a serious plot that was unconnected from ISIS or al Qaeda.”
The White House adviser added, in reference to rhetoric he apparently hears from the left, “It’s this constant, ‘Oh, it’s the white man. It’s the white supremacists. That’s the problem.’ No, it isn’t.”
His timing could’ve been better.