Oklahoma US senator calls bomb plot chilling - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Oklahoma US senator calls bomb plot chilling

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Latest on the Oklahoma bomb plot (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma says it's chilling that someone would want to commit an act of terror in Oklahoma City as a tribute to the deadly 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Officials say 23-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell of Sayre, Oklahoma, was arrested Saturday in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb outside an Oklahoma City bank. Undercover FBI agents prevented the attack from happening.

Lankford says the incident is a somber reminder that Americans must remain vigilant about home-grown extremism and radicalization in local communities.

A criminal complaint says Varnell told undercover investigators he sympathizes with "III% ideology," which pledges resistance to the U.S. government and wanted to use a device similar to the one that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.

11:30 a.m.

The FBI has arrested a 23-year-old man who authorities say attempted to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van outside an Oklahoma bank.

Officials say Jerry Drake Varnell of Sayre, Oklahoma, was arrested Saturday in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb in Oklahoma City.

A federal complaint says the FBI learned in December that Varnell wanted to blow up a building and that an undercover FBI agent posed as someone who could help. Officials say Varnell initially wanted to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., with a device similar to one used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Varnell is scheduled to appear in federal court Monday afternoon on a charge of attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in interstate commerce.

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