Timothy McVeigh
Overview
Timothy James McVeigh was a United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 veteran and security guard who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States Federal Government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people, including 19 children...

 in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

 on April 19, 1995. Commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City Bombing
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19...

, the attack killed 168 people and injured over 800 people, and was the deadliest act of terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. McVeigh, a militia movement sympathizer, sought revenge against the federal government for its handling of the Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

, which had ended in the deaths of 76 people two years earlier, as well as for the Ruby Ridge
Ruby Ridge
Ruby Ridge was the site of a violent confrontation and siege in northern Idaho in 1992. It involved Randy Weaver, his family, Weaver's friend Kevin Harris, and agents of the United States Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation...

 incident in 1992, and conducted the bombing exactly two years after the Waco Siege ended.
Encyclopedia
Timothy James McVeigh was a United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 veteran and security guard who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States Federal Government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people, including 19 children...

 in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

 on April 19, 1995. Commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City Bombing
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19...

, the attack killed 168 people and injured over 800 people, and was the deadliest act of terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. McVeigh, a militia movement sympathizer, sought revenge against the federal government for its handling of the Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

, which had ended in the deaths of 76 people two years earlier, as well as for the Ruby Ridge
Ruby Ridge
Ruby Ridge was the site of a violent confrontation and siege in northern Idaho in 1992. It involved Randy Weaver, his family, Weaver's friend Kevin Harris, and agents of the United States Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation...

 incident in 1992, and conducted the bombing exactly two years after the Waco Siege ended. McVeigh hoped to inspire a revolt against what he considered to be a tyrannical federal government. He was convicted of 11 federal offenses and sentenced to death. His execution
Capital punishment in the United States
Capital punishment in the United States, in practice, applies only for aggravated murder and more rarely for felony murder. Capital punishment was a penalty at common law, for many felonies, and was enforced in all of the American colonies prior to the Declaration of Independence...

 took place on June 11, 2001 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Terry Nichols
Terry Nichols
Terry Lynn Nichols is a convicted bomber's accomplice. Prior to his incarceration, he held a variety of short-term jobs, working as a farmer, grain elevator manager, real estate salesman, ranch hand, and house husband. He met his future co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, during a brief stint in the...

 and Michael Fortier were also convicted as conspirators in the plot.

Childhood

McVeigh was born in Lockport, New York
Lockport (city), New York
Lockport is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. The population was 21,165 at the 2010 census. The name is derived from a set of Erie canal locks within the city. Lockport is the county seat of Niagara County and is surrounded by the town of Lockport...

, the only son and the second of three children of William and Mildred "Mickey" McVeigh. His parents divorced when he was 10 years old and he was raised by his father in Pendleton, New York
Pendleton, New York
Pendleton is a town on the southern edge of Niagara County, New York, United States. It is east of the city of Niagara Falls and southwest of the city of Lockport. The population was 6,397 at the 2010 census.- History :...

.

McVeigh claimed to have been a target of bullying at school and that he took refuge in a fantasy world where he imagined retaliating against those bullies. At the end of his life he would state his belief that the United States government is the ultimate bully. Most who knew McVeigh remember him as being withdrawn, with a few describing him as an outgoing and playful child who withdrew as an adolescent. McVeigh is said to have had one girlfriend during his childhood, later stating to journalists he did not know how to impress girls. According to his authorized biography, "his only sustaining relief from his unsatisfied sex drive was his even stronger desire to die."

While in high school, McVeigh became interested in computers and hacked into government computer systems on his Commodore 64
Commodore 64
The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Commodore International in January 1982.Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US$595...

, under a handle – "The Wanderer" – borrowed from the song by Dion DiMucci
The Wanderer (Dion song)
"The Wanderer" is a song written by Ernie Maresca and originally recorded by Dion. The song, with a 12-bar blues-base verse and an eight-bar bridge, tells the story of a travelling man and his many loves...

. In his senior year
Senior Year
Senior Year can refer to:* Senior ; the final year in high school or college* Senior Year , the 2010 film by Filipino director Jerrold Tarog* The Lockheed U-2...

, McVeigh was named Starpoint Central High School
Starpoint Central School District
Starpoint Central School District is a public schooling system consisting of elementary, intermediate, middle, and high school institutions. It is located in Pendleton, New York. The school mascot is the Spartan, and the school colors are garnet and gray...

's "most promising computer programmer," but maintained relatively poor grades up until his 1986 graduation.

McVeigh was introduced to firearms by his grandfather, and told people he wanted to be a gun shop owner and sometimes took firearms to school to impress his classmates. McVeigh became intensely interested in gun rights after he graduated from high school, as well as the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two Second...

, and read magazines such as Soldier of Fortune
Soldier of Fortune (magazine)
Soldier of Fortune , The Journal of Professional Adventurers, is a periodical monthly magazine devoted to world-wide reporting of wars, including conventional warfare, low-intensity warfare, counter insurgency, and counter-terrorism...

. He briefly attended Bryant & Stratton College before dropping out.

Military life

At age 20, in May 1988, McVeigh enlisted in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

. While in the military, McVeigh used much of his spare time to read about firearms, sniper tactics, and explosives. McVeigh was reprimanded by the military for purchasing a "White Power" T-shirt at a Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 protest against black servicemen who wore what he viewed as "Black Power
Black Power
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

" T-shirts around the army base.

McVeigh was awarded a Bronze Star
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat award of the...

 for his service in the first Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. He had been a top-scoring gunner with the 25mm cannon of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles used by the U.S. 1st Infantry Division
U.S. 1st Infantry Division
The 1st Infantry Division of the United States Army is the oldest division in the United States Army. It has seen continuous service since its organization in 1917...

 to which he was assigned. He served at Fort Riley, Kansas, before Operation Desert Storm. At Fort Riley, McVeigh completed the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC). McVeigh later would say that the Army taught him how to switch off his emotions. He had special lifesaving training and may have saved the life of a comrade who had life-threatening shrapnel wounds.

McVeigh aspired to join the United States Army Special Forces
United States Army Special Forces
The United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations force tasked with six primary missions: unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, hostage rescue, and...

 (SF). After returning from the Gulf War, he entered the selection program to become an SF soldier, but he quit after his psychological profile categorized him as very unsuitable for SF. Shortly thereafter, McVeigh decided to leave the army. He was discharged on December 31, 1991. McVeigh was given an honorable discharge from the Army Reserve in May 1992.

Post-military life

After leaving the army in 1992, McVeigh grew increasingly transient. At first he worked briefly near his hometown of Pendleton as a security guard, where he sounded off daily to his co-worker Carl Lebron, Jr. about his loathing for government. Deciding the Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 area was too liberal, he left his job and began driving around America, seeking out his old friends from the Army.

McVeigh wrote letters to local newspapers complaining about taxes:

McVeigh also wrote to Congressman John J. LaFalce
John J. LaFalce
John Joseph LaFalce is a former congressman from the state of New York; he served from 1975 to 2003.LaFalce was first elected to the 94th United States Congress in 1974 and re-elected to each succeeding Congress through the 107th, serving his Western New York congressional district for 28 years,...

, complaining about the arrest of a woman for carrying mace
Mace (spray)
Chemical Mace is a tear gas in the form of an aerosol spray which propels a lachrymatory agent mixed with a volatile solvent. It is sometimes used as a self-defense device...

:

It is claimed that while visiting friends in Decker, Michigan, McVeigh complained that the Army had implanted him with a microchip
Microchip implant (human)
A human microchip implant is an integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted in the body of a human being...

 into his buttocks so that the government could keep track of him.

The long hours in a dead-end job, the feeling that he did not have a home and his failure to establish a relationship with a woman brought McVeigh to the breaking point. He sought romance, but was rejected by a co-worker and still felt nervous around women. He felt he brought too much pain to his loved ones. He grew angry and frustrated
Sexual frustration
Sexual frustration describes the condition in which a human or animal is in a state of agitation, depression, stress, loneliness or anxiety due to prolonged virginity, sexual inactivity and/or sexual dissatisfaction that leads him or her to want more sex or better sex, or a state in which he or she...

 at his difficulties in finding a girlfriend and took up obsessive gambling. Unable to pay back gambling debts, he took a cash advance and then defaulted on his repayments. He then began looking for a state without heavy government regulation or high taxes. He became enraged when the government informed him that he had been overpaid $1,058 while in the army and he would need to pay back the money. He wrote an angry letter to the government inviting them to:

McVeigh introduced his sister to anti-government literature, but his father had little interest in these views. He moved out of his father's house and into an apartment that had no telephone, which had the advantage of making it impossible for his employer to contact him for overtime assignments. He also quit the NRA, viewing its stance on gun rights to be too weak.

1993 Waco siege and gun shows

In 1993, he drove to Waco, Texas
Waco, Texas
Waco is a city in and the county seat of McLennan County, Texas. Situated along the Brazos River and on the I-35 corridor, halfway between Dallas and Austin, it is the economic, cultural, and academic center of the 'Heart of Texas' region....

 during the Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

 to show his support. At the scene, he distributed pro-gun rights literature and bumper stickers, such as "When guns are outlawed, I will become an outlaw." He told a student reporter:

For the five months following the Waco Siege, McVeigh worked at gun show
Gun show
A gun show is a temporary exhibition or gathering in the United States where firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, literature, knives, jerky, militaria, and miscellaneous collectibles are displayed, bought, sold, traded, and discussed. Gun shows also often include exhibitions related to...

s and handed out free cards printed up with Lon Horiuchi
Lon Horiuchi
Lon Tomohisa Horiuchi is a U.S. FBI HRT sniper who was involved in controversial deployments during the 1992 Ruby Ridge standoff and 1993 Waco Siege. In 1997, Horiuchi was charged with manslaughter for the death of Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge; the case was dismissed.-Early life:Horiuchi, the son of...

's name and address, "in the hope that somebody in the Patriot movement
Patriot movement
The Patriot Movement is a loose collection of independent minarchist social movements in the United States beginning in the latter half of the 20th century...

 would assassinate the sharpshooter." (Horiuchi is an FBI sniper and some of his official actions have drawn controversy) He wrote hate mail
Hate mail
Hate mail is a form of harassment, usually consisting of invective and potentially intimidating or threatening comments towards the recipient...

 to the sniper, suggesting that "what goes around, comes around," and later considered putting aside his plan to target the Murrah Building to target Horiuchi, or a member of his family instead.

McVeigh spent more time on the gun show
Gun show
A gun show is a temporary exhibition or gathering in the United States where firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, literature, knives, jerky, militaria, and miscellaneous collectibles are displayed, bought, sold, traded, and discussed. Gun shows also often include exhibitions related to...

 circuit, traveling to 40 of the 50 states and visiting about 80 gun shows in all. McVeigh found that the further west he went, the more anti-government sentiment he encountered, at least until he got to what he called "The People's Socialist Republic of California." McVeigh sold survival items and copies of The Turner Diaries
The Turner Diaries
The Turner Diaries is a novel written in 1978 by William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym "Andrew Macdonald"...

.
One author said:

Arizona with Fortiers

McVeigh had a road atlas with hand-drawn designations of the most likely places for nuclear attacks and considered buying property in Seligman, Arizona
Seligman, Arizona
Seligman is a census-designated place in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The population was 456 at the 2000 census.-History:Between 1889-1891, Seligman was established by the Theut and Moultrie families. Both were prosperous slaughterhouse owners in Southern antebellum families who lost...

, which he determined to be in a "nuclear-free zone." McVeigh lived with Michael Fortier in Kingman, Arizona
Kingman, Arizona
Kingman is located in a desert climate on the edge of the Mojave Desert, but its higher elevation and location between the Colorado Plateau and the Lower Colorado River Valley tempers summer high temperatures and contributes to winter cold and rare snowfall. Summer daytime highs reach above 90 °F ...

, for a spell and grew so close to him that he served as best man at Fortier's wedding. McVeigh experimented with cannabis and methamphetamine
Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs...

, after first researching their effects in an encyclopedia; but he was not as interested in drugs as Fortier. One of the reasons they parted ways was McVeigh's boredom with Fortier's drug habits.

McVeigh defended the practice of owning multiple guns, saying it was like the common practice of keeping an assortment of screwdrivers in one's toolbox; one needed to be sure of having the right tool for the job. He said that five particular guns were essential: a semiautomatic
Semi-automatic rifle
A semi-automatic rifle is a type of rifle that fires a single bullet each time the trigger is pulled, automatically ejects the spent cartridge, chambers a fresh cartridge from its magazine, and is immediately ready to fire another shot...

, magazine-fed rifle (for defending against large mobs); a bolt-action
Bolt-action
Bolt action is a type of firearm action in which the weapon's bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech with a small handle, most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon...

 hunting/sniper rifle
Sniper rifle
In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

 (for killing large game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

 or defending against an entrenched marauder); a shotgun
Shotgun
A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug...

 (for fowl hunting); a .22 caliber rifle
.22 Long Rifle
The .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridge is a long established variety of ammunition, and in terms of units sold is still by far the most common in the world today. The cartridge is often referred to simply as .22 LR and various rifles, pistols, revolvers, and even some smoothbore shotguns have...

 (to hone shooting skills and bag small game); and a pistol
Handgun
A handgun is a firearm designed to be held and operated by one hand. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns ....

 (for close-in self defense). He viewed guns as the first tool of freedom, necessary to protect supplies in the event America fell into chaos.

With Nichols, Waco siege, radicalisation and first explosives devices

In April 1993, McVeigh headed for a farm where co-conspirator Terry Nichols
Terry Nichols
Terry Lynn Nichols is a convicted bomber's accomplice. Prior to his incarceration, he held a variety of short-term jobs, working as a farmer, grain elevator manager, real estate salesman, ranch hand, and house husband. He met his future co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, during a brief stint in the...

 lived. In between watching coverage of the Waco siege on TV, Nichols and his brother began teaching McVeigh how to make explosives out of readily available materials; specifically, they combined household chemicals in plastic jugs. The destruction of the Waco compound enraged McVeigh and convinced him that it was time to take action. The government's use of CS gas
CS gas
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent...

 on women and children angered McVeigh; he had been exposed to the gas as part of his military training and thus was familiar with its effects. The disappearance of certain evidence, such as the bullet-riddled steel-reinforced front door to the complex, led him to suspect a cover-up. He believed that even if David Koresh
David Koresh
David Koresh , born Vernon Wayne Howell, was the leader of a Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be its final prophet. Howell legally changed his name to David Koresh on May 15, 1990. A 1993 raid by the U.S...

 had committed crimes, his followers did not deserve to be executed.

McVeigh's anti-government rhetoric became more radical. He began to sell ATF
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...

 hats riddled with bullet holes and a flare gun, which, he said, could shoot down an "ATF helicopter." He produced videos detailing the government's actions at Waco and handed out pamphlets with titles like "U.S. Government Initiates Open Warfare Against American People" and "Waco Shootout Evokes Memory of Warsaw '43
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany's effort to transport the remaining ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp....

." He began changing his answering machine greeting every couple of weeks to various quotes by Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry was an orator and politician who led the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and subsequently, from 1784 to 1786...

 such as "Give me liberty or give me death." He began experimenting with pipe bomb
Pipe bomb
A pipe bomb is an improvised explosive device, a tightly sealed section of pipe filled with an explosive material. The containment provided by the pipe means that simple low explosives can be used to produce a relatively large explosion, and the fragmentation of the pipe itself creates potentially...

s and other small explosive devices for the first time. The government also imposed new firearms restrictions in 1994 that McVeigh believed threatened his livelihood.

McVeigh dissociated himself from his boyhood friend, Steve Hodge, by sending a 23-page farewell letter to him. He proclaimed his devotion to the United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

, explaining in detail what each sentence meant to him. McVeigh declared that:

McVeigh felt the need to personally reconnoiter sites of rumored conspiracies. He visited Area 51
Area 51
Area 51 is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles north-northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield...

 in order to defy government restrictions on picture-taking and went to Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport is the second largest city in Mississippi after the state capital Jackson. It is the larger of the two principal cities of the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area. As of the...

 to determine the veracity of rumors about United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 operations. These turned out to be false; the Russian vehicles on the site were being configured for use in U.N.-sponsored humanitarian aid efforts. Around this time, McVeigh and Nichols also began making bulk purchases of ammonium nitrate, an agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

, for resale to survivalists, since rumors were circulating that the government was preparing to ban it.

Plan against federal building or individuals

McVeigh told Fortier of his plans to blow up a federal building, but Fortier declined to participate. Fortier also told his wife about the plans. McVeigh composed two letters to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the first titled "Constitutional Defenders" and the second "ATF Read." He denounced government agents as "fascist tyrants" and "storm troopers" and warned:

McVeigh also wrote a letter of recruitment to a customer named Steve Colbern:

McVeigh began announcing that he had progressed from the "propaganda" phase to the "action" phase. He wrote to his Michigan friend Gwenda Strider, "I have certain other 'militant' talents that are in short supply and greatly demanded."

McVeigh later said he considered "a campaign of individual assassination," with "eligible" targets including Attorney-General Janet Reno
Janet Reno
Janet Wood Reno is a former Attorney General of the United States . She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, and confirmed on March 11...

, Judge Walter S. Smith Jr. of Federal District Court, who handled the Branch Davidian
Branch Davidian
The Branch Davidians are a Protestant sect that originated in 1955 from a schism in the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists , a reform movement that began within the Seventh-day Adventist Church around 1930...

 trial and Lon Horiuchi
Lon Horiuchi
Lon Tomohisa Horiuchi is a U.S. FBI HRT sniper who was involved in controversial deployments during the 1992 Ruby Ridge standoff and 1993 Waco Siege. In 1997, Horiuchi was charged with manslaughter for the death of Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge; the case was dismissed.-Early life:Horiuchi, the son of...

, a member of the FBI hostage-rescue team who shot and killed Vicki Weaver in a standoff at a remote cabin at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992. He said he wanted Reno to accept "full responsibility in deed, not just words." However, such an assassination seemed too difficult, and he decided that since federal agents had become soldiers, it was necessary to strike against them at their command centers. Moreover, according to American Terrorist, ultimately he decided that he would make the loudest statement by bombing a federal building. After the bombing, he would come to have some ambivalence about his act, as expressed in letters to his hometown newspaper that he sometimes wished he had carried out a series of assassinations against police and government officials instead.

Oklahoma City bombing

Working at a lakeside campground near McVeigh's old Army post, he and Nichols constructed an ANNM
ANFO
ANFO is a widely used bulk industrial explosive mixture. It consists of 94 percent porous prilled ammonium nitrate , that acts as the oxidizing agent and absorbent for the fuel — six percent Number 2 Fuel Oil...

 explosive device
Explosive device
An explosive device is device that relies on the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy. Explosive devices have applications as demolition devices and as weapons in the military....

 mounted in the back of a rented Ryder truck. This site was regarded as suitable because a moving truck would not seem out of place, given the transient population of the area. The bomb consisted of about 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of ammonium nitrate and nitromethane
Nitromethane
Nitromethane is an organic compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest organic nitro compound. It is a slightly viscous, highly polar liquid commonly used as a solvent in a variety of industrial applications such as in extractions, as a reaction medium, and as a cleaning solvent...

, a motor-racing fuel.

On April 19, 1995, McVeigh drove the truck to the front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States Federal Government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people, including 19 children...

 just as its offices opened for the day. Before arriving, he stopped to light a 5 minute fuse. At 09:02, a large explosion destroyed the north half of the building. The explosion killed 168 people, including nineteen children in the day care center on the second floor, and injured 450 others.

McVeigh noted that he had no knowledge that the federal offices also ran a daycare center on the second floor of the building, and noted that he might have chosen a different target if he had known about the daycare center. According to Michel and Herbeck, McVeigh claimed not to have known there was a daycare center in the Murrah Building and said that if he had known it, in his own words:
Michel and Herbeck quote McVeigh, with whom they spoke for some 75 hours, on his attitude to the victims:

According to the Oklahoma City Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT), more than 300 buildings were damaged. More than 12,000 volunteers and rescue workers took part in the rescue, recovery and support operations following the bombing. In reference to theories that he had assistance from others, McVeigh responded:

Arrest, trial, conviction and sentencing

By tracing the Vehicle Identification Number
Vehicle identification number
A Vehicle Identification Number, commonly abbreviated to VIN, is a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. VINs were first used in 1954...

 (VIN) of a rear axle found in the wreckage, the FBI identified the vehicle as a Ryder
Ryder
Ryder System, Inc. , or Ryder, is an American-based provider of transportation and supply chain management products, and is especially known for its fleet of rental trucks. Ryder specializes in fleet management, supply chain management and dedicated contracted carriage. Ryder operates in North...

 Rental box truck rented from Junction City, Kansas
Junction City, Kansas
Junction City is a city in and the county seat of Geary County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 23,353. Fort Riley, a major U.S. Army post, is nearby...

. Workers at the agency assisted an FBI artist in creating a sketch of the renter, who had used the alias "Robert Kling". The sketch was shown in the area. Lea McGown, manager of the local Dreamland Hotel, identified the sketch as Timothy McVeigh.

Shortly after the bombing, while driving on I-35 in Noble County
Noble County, Oklahoma
Noble County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of 2010, the population was 11,561. Its county seat is Perry.-21st century:In 2010, the Keystone-Cushing Pipeline was constructed north to south through Noble County....

, near Perry, Oklahoma
Perry, Oklahoma
Perry is a city in Noble County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,126. It is the county seat of Noble County.-19th century:...

, McVeigh was stopped by Oklahoma State Trooper
Oklahoma Highway Patrol
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is a major state law enforcement agency of the government of Oklahoma. It is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol was legislatively created in 1937 due to the growing problem of motor vehicle accidents, the expansion of a...

 Charles J. Hanger from Pawnee, Oklahoma
Pawnee, Oklahoma
Pawnee is a city in Pawnee County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 2,230 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Pawnee County.-Geography:Pawnee is located at...

. Hanger had passed McVeigh's yellow 1977 Mercury Marquis
Mercury Marquis
These were known as the "Continental Styling" years, as Mercury was trying to market itself as an affordable Lincoln, rather than a more expensive Ford...

 and noticed that it had no license plate. McVeigh admitted to the police officer (who noticed a bulge under his jacket) that he had a gun and McVeigh was subsequently arrested for having driven without plates and illegal firearm possession; McVeigh's concealed weapon permit was not legal in Oklahoma. McVeigh was wearing a T-shirt at that time with a picture of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and the motto: sic semper tyrannis
Sic semper tyrannis
Sic semper tyrannis is a Latin phrase meaning "thus always to tyrants." It is sometimes mistranslated as "down with the tyrant." The phrase is said to have originated with Marcus Junius Brutus during the assassination of Julius Caesar....

('Thus always to tyrants'), the state motto of Virginia and also the words shouted by John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known actor...

 after he shot Lincoln. On the back, it had a tree with a picture of three blood droplets and the Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 quote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Three days later, while still in jail, McVeigh was identified as the subject of the nationwide manhunt.

On August 10, 1995, McVeigh was indicted on 11 federal counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives and eight counts of first-degree murder.

On February 20, 1996, the Court granted a change of venue
Change of venue
A change of venue is the legal term for moving a trial to a new location. In high-profile matters, a change of venue may occur to move a jury trial away from a location where a fair and impartial jury may not be possible due to widespread publicity about a crime and/or its defendant to another...

 and ordered that the case be transferred from Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

 to the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, to be presided over by U.S. District Judge Richard Paul Matsch
Richard Paul Matsch
Richard Paul Matsch is a retired United States federal judge.Matsch was born in Burlington, Iowa. He earned his A.B. from the University of Michigan in 1951, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1953. He served in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955. He was an attorney...

.

McVeigh instructed his lawyers to use a necessity defense
Necessity
In U.S. criminal law, necessity may be either a possible justification or an exculpation for breaking the law. Defendants seeking to rely on this defense argue that they should not be held liable for their actions as a crime because their conduct was necessary to prevent some greater harm and when...

, but they ended up not doing so, because they would have had to prove that McVeigh was in "imminent danger" from the government. (McVeigh himself argued that "imminent" did not necessarily mean "immediate.") They would have argued that his bombing of the Murrah building was a justifiable response to what McVeigh believed were the crimes of the U.S. government at Waco
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

, Texas. The 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian
Branch Davidian
The Branch Davidians are a Protestant sect that originated in 1955 from a schism in the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists , a reform movement that began within the Seventh-day Adventist Church around 1930...

 complex resulted in the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians. As part of the defense, McVeigh's lawyers showed the jury the controversial video Waco: The Big Lie.

On June 2, 1997, McVeigh was found guilty on all 11 counts of the federal indictment.

McVeigh tried to calm his mother by saying, "Think of it this way. When I was in the Army, you didn't see me for years. Think of me that way now, like I'm away in the Army again, on an assignment for the military."

On June 13, 1997, the jury recommended that McVeigh receive the death penalty. The U.S. Department of Justice brought federal charges against McVeigh for causing the deaths of eight federal officers leading to a possible death penalty for McVeigh; it could not bring charges against McVeigh for the remaining 160 murders in federal court because those deaths fell under the jurisdiction of the state of Oklahoma. Because McVeigh was convicted and sentenced to death, the State of Oklahoma did not file murder charges against McVeigh for the other 160 deaths. Before the sentence was formally pronounced, McVeigh addressed the court for the first time and said simply:

During his time in prison, McVeigh wrote various essays. An Essay on Hypocrisy describes the U.S. Government as hypocritical for justifying its attack on Iraq by stating that Iraq should not be allowed to stockpile weapons of mass destruction because it had used them in the past. He cited Hiroshima and Nagasaki as examples of the U.S. using nuclear weapons in the past. On April 26, 2001, he wrote a letter to Fox News, I Explain Herein Why I Bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which explicitly laid out his reasons for the attack. McVeigh read Unintended Consequences and noted that if it had come out a few years earlier, he would have given serious consideration to using sniper attacks in a war of attrition
Attrition warfare
Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent side attempts to win a war by wearing down its enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and matériel....

 against the government instead of bombing a federal building:

Incarceration and execution

While incarcerated, Timothy McVeigh had the Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is a federal law enforcement agency subdivision of the United States Department of Justice and is responsible for the administration of the federal prison system. The system also handles prisoners who committed acts considered felonies under the District of Columbia's...

 register # 12076-064. McVeigh's death sentence was delayed pending an appeal. One of his appeals for certiorari
Certiorari
Certiorari is a type of writ seeking judicial review, recognized in U.S., Roman, English, Philippine, and other law. Certiorari is the present passive infinitive of the Latin certiorare...

, taken to the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

, was denied on March 8, 1999. McVeigh's request for a nationally televised execution was also denied. An internet company also unsuccessfully sued for the right to broadcast it. At ADX Florence
ADX Florence
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility is a supermax prison for men that is located in unincorporated Fremont County, Colorado, United States, south of Florence. It is unofficially known as ADX Florence, Florence ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies...

, McVeigh was housed in the same cell block as Ted Kaczynski, Luis Felipe and Ramzi Yousef
Ramzi Yousef
Ramzi Yousef was one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot. In 1995, he was arrested at a guest house in Islamabad, by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and United States Diplomatic Security Service, then extradited to the...

. Ramzi made frequent, unsuccessful attempts to convert McVeigh to Islam.
McVeigh said:
He said that if there turned out to be an afterlife, he would "improvise, adapt and overcome", noting that:
He also said:
The BOP moved McVeigh from ADX Florence to the federal death row at United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute is a city and the county seat of Vigo County, Indiana, United States, near the state's western border with Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 60,785 and its metropolitan area had a population of 170,943. The city is the county seat of Vigo County and...

 in 1999.

McVeigh dropped his remaining appeals, giving no reason for doing so. On January 16, 2001 the Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is a federal law enforcement agency subdivision of the United States Department of Justice and is responsible for the administration of the federal prison system. The system also handles prisoners who committed acts considered felonies under the District of Columbia's...

 set May 16, 2001 as McVeigh's execution date. McVeigh stated that his only regret was not completely leveling the federal building. Six days prior to his scheduled execution, the FBI turned over thousands of documents of evidence it had previously withheld to McVeigh's attorneys. As a result, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced McVeigh's execution would be stayed for one month.

The execution date was reset for June 11, 2001. McVeigh invited California conductor/composer David Woodard to perform pre-requiem Mass music on the eve of his execution. He also requested a Catholic chaplain. His last meal
Last meal
The last meal is a customary part of a condemned prisoner's last day. Often, the day of, or before, the appointed time of execution, the prisoner receives a last meal, as well as religious rites, if they desire. In the United States, inmates generally may not ask for an alcoholic drink...

 was two pints of mint chocolate chip
Mint Chocolate Chip
Mint Chocolate Chip is an ice cream flavor composed of mint ice cream and small chocolate chips. In some cases the liqueur crème de menthe is used to provide the mint flavor, but in most cases peppermint or spearmint flavoring is used...

 ice cream.

McVeigh chose William Ernest Henley
William Ernest Henley
William Ernest Henley was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus".-Life and career:...

's poem "Invictus
Invictus
"Invictus" is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley .- Background :At the age of 12, Henley contracted tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate directly...

" as his final statement. Jay Sawyer, relative of one of the victims, noted, "Without saying a word, he got the final word." Larry Whicher, whose brother died in the attack, described McVeigh as having "A totally expressionless, blank stare. He had a look of defiance and that if he could, he'd do it all over again." He was executed by lethal injection
Lethal injection
Lethal injection is the practice of injecting a person with a fatal dose of drugs for the express purpose of causing the immediate death of the subject. The main application for this procedure is capital punishment, but the term may also be applied in a broad sense to euthanasia and suicide...

 at 7:14 a.m. on June 11, 2001, at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary
Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute
The Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute, is a federal prison for adult males located at the intersection of State Road 63 and Springhill Drive, two miles south of Terre Haute, Indiana United States...

 in Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute is a city and the county seat of Vigo County, Indiana, United States, near the state's western border with Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 60,785 and its metropolitan area had a population of 170,943. The city is the county seat of Vigo County and...

, the first convicted criminal to be executed by the United States federal government since Victor Feguer
Victor Feguer
Victor Harry Feguer was a convicted murderer and the last federal inmate executed in the United States before the moratorium on the death penalty following Furman v. Georgia, and the last person put to death in the state of Iowa...

 was executed in Iowa on March 15, 1963.

On November 21, 1997, President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 signed S. 923, special legislation introduced by Senator Arlen Specter
Arlen Specter
Arlen Specter is a former United States Senator from Pennsylvania. Specter is a Democrat, but was a Republican from 1965 until switching to the Democratic Party in 2009...

 to bar McVeigh and other veterans convicted of crimes from being buried in any military cemetery. His body was cremated
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

 at Mattox Ryan Funeral Home in Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute is a city and the county seat of Vigo County, Indiana, United States, near the state's western border with Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 60,785 and its metropolitan area had a population of 170,943. The city is the county seat of Vigo County and...

. The cremated remains were given to his lawyer, who scattered them at an undisclosed location. McVeigh had earlier written that he considered having his ashes dropped at the site of the memorial where the Murrah building once stood, but decided that would be "too vengeful, too raw, cold." He had expressed willingness to donate organs, but was prohibited from doing so by prison regulations.

"Psychiatrist John Smith concluded that [McVeigh] was a decent person who had allowed rage to build up inside him to the point that he had lashed out in one terrible, violent act." McVeigh's IQ
Intelligence quotient
An intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests designed to assess intelligence. When modern IQ tests are constructed, the mean score within an age group is set to 100 and the standard deviation to 15...

 was assessed at 126.

Political views and religious beliefs

McVeigh was a registered Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 when he lived in Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 in the 1980s, and had a membership in the National Rifle Association
National Rifle Association
The National Rifle Association of America is an American non-profit 501 civil rights organization which advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection...

 while in the military.

McVeigh was raised Roman Catholic. During his childhood, he and his father attended Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 regularly. McVeigh was confirmed at the Good Shepherd Church in Pendleton, New York, in 1985. In a 1996 interview, McVeigh professed belief in "a God", although he said he had "sort of lost touch with" Catholicism and "I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs." In the 2001 book American Terrorist
American Terrorist
American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & The Oklahoma City Bombing is a book by Buffalo, New York journalists Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck that chronicles the life of Timothy McVeigh from his childhood in Pendleton, New York, to his military experiences in the Persian Gulf War, to his preparations for...

, McVeigh stated that he did not believe in Hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

 and that science is his religion. In June, 2001, a day before the execution, McVeigh wrote a letter to the Buffalo News identifying as agnostic
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

. Before his execution, McVeigh took the Catholic sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick (Catholic Church)
Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Catholic Church that is administered to Catholics who because of sickness or old age are in danger of death, even if the danger is not proximate...

.

Motivations for the bombing

McVeigh claimed that the bombing was revenge for "what the U.S. government did at Waco
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

 and Ruby Ridge
Ruby Ridge
Ruby Ridge was the site of a violent confrontation and siege in northern Idaho in 1992. It involved Randy Weaver, his family, Weaver's friend Kevin Harris, and agents of the United States Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation...

." McVeigh visited Waco during the standoff, where he spoke to a news reporter about his anger over what was happening there.

McVeigh frequently quoted and alluded to the novel The Turner Diaries
The Turner Diaries
The Turner Diaries is a novel written in 1978 by William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym "Andrew Macdonald"...

, while rejecting the book's racism, he claimed to appreciate its interest in firearms. Photocopies of pages sixty-one and sixty-two of The Turner Diaries were found in an envelope inside McVeigh's car. These pages depicted a fictitious mortar attack upon the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

In interviews before his execution, documented in American Terrorist
American Terrorist
American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & The Oklahoma City Bombing is a book by Buffalo, New York journalists Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck that chronicles the life of Timothy McVeigh from his childhood in Pendleton, New York, to his military experiences in the Persian Gulf War, to his preparations for...

, McVeigh stated he decapitated an Iraqi soldier with cannon fire on his first day in the war and celebrated. But he said he later was shocked to be ordered to execute surrendering prisoners and to see carnage on the road
Highway of Death
The Highway of Death refers to a six-lane highway between Kuwait and Iraq, officially known as Highway 80. It runs from Kuwait City to the border town of Safwan and then on to Basra....

 leaving Kuwait City
Kuwait City
-Suburbs:Although the districts below are not usually recognized as suburbs, the following is a list of a few areas surrounding Kuwait city:Al-Salam ""السلام"" -Economy:...

 after U.S. troops routed the Iraqi army. In interviews following the Oklahoma City bombing, McVeigh said he began harboring anti-government feelings during the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. In 1998, while in prison, McVeigh wrote an essay that criticized US foreign policy towards Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 as being hypocritical:
McVeigh had contemplated suicide on many occasions. Anticipating that he would probably be caught and executed, he referred to the bombing as "state-assisted suicide
State-assisted suicide
State-assisted suicide is the use of government to commit suicide. It is usually committed by committing a capital crime and receiving a capital punishment....

".

Accomplices

In addition to McVeigh, Terry Nichols
Terry Nichols
Terry Lynn Nichols is a convicted bomber's accomplice. Prior to his incarceration, he held a variety of short-term jobs, working as a farmer, grain elevator manager, real estate salesman, ranch hand, and house husband. He met his future co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, during a brief stint in the...

 was convicted and sentenced in federal court to life in prison for his role in the crime. At Nichols' trial, evidence was presented indicating that others may have been involved. Several residents of central Kansas, including real estate agent Georgia Rucker and a retired Army NCO, testified at Terry Nichols' federal trial that they had seen two trucks at Geary Lake State Park, where prosecutors alleged the bomb was assembled. The retired NCO said he visited the lake on April 18, 1995, but left after a group of surly men looked at him aggressively. The operator of the Dreamland Motel testified that two Ryder trucks had been parked outside her Grandview Plaza motel where McVeigh stayed in Room 26 the weekend before the bombing. Terry Nichols is currently incarcerated at the Federal Supermax Prison in Florence, Colorado.

An ATF informant, Carolyn Howe, told reporters that shortly before the bombing she had warned her handlers that guests of Elohim City, Oklahoma
Elohim City, Oklahoma
Elohim City is a private community in Adair County, Oklahoma founded by Robert G. Millar in 1973. Millar, a Canadian immigrant and charismatic religious leader, moved his followers to the site from their former location in Ellicott City, Maryland known as "The Camp", it was located on Route 144...

 were planning a major bombing attack. McVeigh was issued a speeding ticket there at the same time. Other than this speeding ticket, there is no evidence of a connection between McVeigh and members of the Midwest Bank Robbers
Midwest Bank Robbers
The Aryan Republican Army is the name given to a White nationalist criminal group active in the United States in the early-to-mid 1990s. The group is alleged to have associated with convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in the months before the Oklahoma City bombing...

 at Elohim City.

Oklahoma City journalist Jayna Davis
Jayna Davis
Jayna Davis was a broadcast journalist for KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City at the time of the Oklahoma City Bombing. Her TV stories about the mysteriously cancelled FBI alert for "Middle-Eastern-looking" suspects wanted in connection with the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing generated confidential...

, in her 2004 book The Third Terrorist
The Third Terrorist
The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing is a book by television journalist Jayna Davis about evidence of a conspiracy behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The Justice Department initially sought, but then abandoned its search for a Middle East suspect...

, alleged that McVeigh and Nichols had significant ties to Islamic terror groups, and called into question the FBI's rejection of eyewitness testimony suggesting McVeigh had a Middle Eastern accomplice. Davis wrote that McVeigh was associating with Hussain Al-Hussaini and other agents of Saddam Hussein, and that McVeigh and Nichols had been picking up advanced bomb-making skills from Iraqi operatives.

In February 2004, the FBI announced it would review its investigation after learning that agents in the investigation of the Midwest Bank Robbers (an alleged Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

-oriented gang) had turned up explosive caps of the same type that were used to trigger the Oklahoma City bomb. Agents expressed surprise that bombing investigators had not been provided information from the Midwest Bank Robbers investigation.

McVeigh declined further delays and maintained until his death that he had acted alone in the bombing.

Further reading

  • Jones, Stephen
    Stephen Jones (attorney)
    Stephen Jones, , is an attorney and Republican activist from Enid, Oklahoma. He is best known for serving as Timothy McVeigh's lead defense lawyer during McVeigh's trial on 11 counts regarding his actions in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing....

     and Peter Israel. Others Unknown: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy, 2nd ed, New York: PublicAffairs, 2001. ISBN 1-58648-098-7.
  • Michel, Lou and Dan Herbeck
    Dan Herbeck
    Dan Herbeck co-wrote the book American Terrorist with Lou Michel about Timothy McVeigh. He graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1978. Herbeck has been a reporter at The Buffalo News since 1978. The book by Herbeck and Michel was a New York Times bestseller in 2001. It detailed the life...

    . American Terrorist
    American Terrorist
    American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & The Oklahoma City Bombing is a book by Buffalo, New York journalists Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck that chronicles the life of Timothy McVeigh from his childhood in Pendleton, New York, to his military experiences in the Persian Gulf War, to his preparations for...

    : Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing
    . New York: ReganBooks (HarperCollins), 2001. ISBN 0-06-039407-2.
  • Vidal, Gore
    Gore Vidal
    Gore Vidal is an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar , outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality...

    . Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated, Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002. ISBN 1-56025-405-X.
  • Wright, Stuart A. Patriots, Politics, and the Oklahoma City Bombing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-521-87264-5

External links

  • "Bad Day Dawning" in "Criminals and Methods: Timothy McVeigh" at Court TV
    Court TV
    truTV is an American cable television network owned by Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner. The network launched as Court TV in 1991, changing to truTV in 2008...

    : Crime Library
    Crime Library
    The Crime Library is a website documenting major crimes, criminals, and trials, forensics, and criminal profiling from books, police reports, crime television shows, and writers...

  • Timothy McVeigh's April 27 2001 letter to reporter Rita Cosby, Explains why he bombed the Murrah Federal Building (posted on independence.net)
  • Timothy McVeigh's Prison Dossier at The Smoking Gun
    The Smoking Gun
    The Smoking Gun is a website that posts legal documents, arrest records, and police mugshots on a daily basis. The intent is to bring to the public light information that is damning, shocking, outrageous, or amazing, yet also somewhat obscure or unreported by more mainstream media sources...

  • The Timothy McVeigh Story: The Oklahoma Bomber at Court TV
    Court TV
    truTV is an American cable television network owned by Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner. The network launched as Court TV in 1991, changing to truTV in 2008...

    : Crime Library
    Crime Library
    The Crime Library is a website documenting major crimes, criminals, and trials, forensics, and criminal profiling from books, police reports, crime television shows, and writers...

  • Voices of Oklahoma interview with Stephen Jones. First person interview conducted with Stephen Jones, Public Defender for Timothy McVeigh and author of Others Unknown: The Oklahoma City Bombing Case and Conspiracy on January 27, 2010. Original audio and transcript archived with Voices of Oklahoma oral history project.
  • Kaczynski's letter to the writers of the book, American Terrorist - Somewhat sympathetic critique of Timothy McVeigh by fellow inmate Unabomber
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