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Officials announced on Monday that Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested Saturday after trying to blow up a bank in Oklahoma City using a vehicle bomb. The 23-year-old was stopped by an undercover FBI investigative terrorism task force. Varnell had planned the attack for months, but was stopped after he parked the vehicle in an alley near the bank. He was targeting Oklahoma City’s downtown branch of BancFirst, a state-chartered bank.
Varnell considers himself a 3 percenter and had future plans of targeting other government facilities using a militia. According to reporting by the New York Times, Varnell’s goal was not to kill people, but to target the government facility itself. He also had plans to target server farms, or corporate data centers, including farms for Bank of America and Facebook.
Varnell considered the bombing a revolutionary act that would obstruct what he viewed as part of the government’s restrictions on American freedoms. Those of the 3 percenter ideology believe that only 3 percent of the colonists during the Revolutionary War fought for freedom from the British Empire. They are often considered pro-gun, pro-Constitution, and pro-President Donald Trump.
Sarah Jasmine Montgomery is a Daily Dot contributor whose writing and criticism cover all things pop culture, with an emphasis on how communities of color impact physical and digital cultural spaces. Her writing and photography have also appeared in Texas Monthly, the Fader, Complex, and Billboard.