The FBI arrested a 23-year-old Oklahoma man on suspicion of terrorism. The authorities nabbed the man just before he was about to detonate a vehicle filled with explosives. The incident occurred on Saturday, August 12, and the suspect Jerry Drake Varnell is being held in custody. On Monday, August, 14, the FBI revealed that the man was arrested for attempting to detonate bombs.

The incident

The FBI revealed that 23-year old Varnell from Oklahoma City planned to detonate explosives outside a downtown Bank in the city. CNBC reported that it was the BancFirst building. According to the agency’s documents, the suspect had parked a stolen van that contained nearly 1000 pounds of ammonium nitrate.

The FBI officials arrested him at around 1 AM. It seems and his plans were reminiscent of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings.

The agency had been monitoring Jerry since December as the suspect held anti-government ideals and had previously openly stated that he wanted to blow up the Federal Reserve in Washington. He even sent a text to someone he knew informing them of his plans about bombing the bank in Oklahoma City. Jerry also expressed his desire to use the same plan that was carried out in the 1995 bombing incident. These texts were forwarded to the FBI by the person who received them.

The FBI agents set up a meeting with Varnell with an undercover agent, who was acting as the agent who would sell Varnell the explosive equipment he wanted to use to blow the bank up. This meeting was recorded by the agents and during the proceedings, the accused even revealed that he followed the “3-percenters ideology.” After the meeting, the accused carefully plotted the bombing and loaded the vehicle with the explosive items.

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He also allegedly decided which bank would be the target of his attack. FBI officials revealed that at no point were the ordinary people of the city in any danger as the explosives sold to the accused were not real. However, Varnell's intention of blowing up the bank was quite real and he wanted to create the explosion.

What happens to Varnell?

Varnell is currently being held by US Marshalls in anticipation of an appearance at a federal court for his hearing. He has been charged with attempting to use an explosive to ruin a structure in interstate commerce. If convicted of the charges, he faces a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum term of 20 years. The Oklahoman reported that via a Facebook post, someone claiming to be his brother - Cade, shared that Jerry was forced into the criminal act by the FBI themselves.