The 1995 Terrorist Attack That Shook the World
The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was the worst act of domestic terrorism on record until 9/11. Killing 168 people, the blast led to over 650 million dollars in damage. Federal prosecutors spent months scouring over one billion pieces of information throughout the investigation. With so many moving pieces bouncing around, facts and key pieces of information were bound to have gotten lost in the shuffle. These are some of the facts that many of us might not remember.
Activism Turns into Terrorism
When searching for a possible motive, investigators discovered that McVeigh was known for his outward hatred of the federal government and what he saw as tyrannical control. From what they found, the government’s handling of the 1993 Waco siege was one of McVeigh’s primary motives for plotting the attack. When asked to respond to the damage that his actions caused, McVeigh blamed the deaths of all of those people on the government, claiming that such acts were only fair given what had happened at the Waco ranch in 1993. The bombing took place on the two-year anniversary of the Waco siege.
McVeigh knew his history. When he was stopped by the police and arrested for driving without a license plate and for possession of illegal explosives, McVeigh’s car was coated with anti-government quotes from famous historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and John Wilkes Booth. Here’s guessing that Thomas Jefferson didn’t intend for his words to be used as a rallying cry for violent extremists.
Enter Merrick Garland
President Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court was an instant reminder of the Oklahoma City bombing. Before his appointment, Merrick Garland was tasked with overseeing and managing the federal investigation of what was then the largest criminal act in history. Garland and his team conducted over 28,000 interviews and examined over 3.5 tons of evidence. Such a massive amount of responsibility probably makes Garland qualified to serve on the highest court in the land.
A Generous Donation
Without any government funding, things looked dire for Oklahoma City and the victims’ families. Luckily, local donors and other non-profit organizations gave forty million dollars to the city and those affected by the disaster. That money was used to fund an education for children that had lost a parent in the explosion, for reconstructing the downtown area, and for funding the medical care that would be required to treat the long-term medical and mental problems of the survivors.
Timothy McVeigh and his accomplice Terry Nichols built the bomb using nitrate-rich fertilizer. Some of the materials were stolen and some were purchased legally. They packed the bomb in 55-gallon drums and hauled them in front of the Alfred P. Murrah building on the back of a pickup truck.