(MEREDITH) — The FBI arrested a man in Oklahoma early Monday morning after he allegedly attempted to set off what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb outside a bank in Oklahoma City.
He didn’t know the bomb was a fake, or that he was caught in a months-long undercover operation by the FBI, according to multiple outlets including Oklahoma’s KFOR.
An FBI official told KFOR Varnell dialed a number on his cell phone, believing it would trigger the explosion but the device was actually inert and there was no danger to the public.
In a criminal complaint, the FBI alleges that 23-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell had first wanted to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., in a similar manner to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. The complaint says that over the course of the investigation, Varnell repeatedly expressed his hatred for the federal government and had admiration for McVeigh.
Varnell’s arrest is expected to be announced later on Monday.
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