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A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday after allegedly attempting to detonate what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb outside a bank in Oklahoma City, The Washington Post reports. An undercover FBI agent had posed as an accomplice to Jerry Drake Varnell, of Sayre, Oklahoma, in the months-long investigation leading up to the foiled plot.
Varnell "referenced the movie Fight Club when he discussed wanting to take down a government facility or other structures," the complaint alleges, adding that he was also inspired by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. "Varnell stated, 'That's the kind of s--- I want to f---ing do, it's time to do that kind of f---ing s---,'" the complaint adds.
Varnell allegedly told the undercover FBI agent that he had made his own explosives, but was convinced to stop in order to avoid injury or "drawing unwanted attention." "Varnell agreed to have the [undercover agent] obtain the needed explosives in lieu of making it himself," the complaint claims.
Originally Varnell had wanted to attack the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., the complaint says, before deciding on BancFirst in Oklahoma City. He allegedly wanted to minimize deaths and injuries, planning the attack for Friday evening. "[Varnell] identified BancFirst as the target, prepared a statement to be posted on social media after the explosion, helped assemble the device, helped load it into what he believed was a stolen van, drove the van by himself from El Reno to BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City, and dialed a number on a cellular telephone that he believed would trigger the explosion," Oklahoma's KOCO News 5 reports.