McVeigh’s goal was to ensure that his anti-government message was heard by all so he chose the Murrah federal building due to its excellent camera angles for media coverage and acquired tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and gallons of fuel to build a bomb that would result in a highly volatile explosion. To facilitate the attack, Terry Nicholas helped McVeigh gather the supplies needed to make the weapon of mass destruction. Michael Fortier charged as a co- conspirator, did not play an active role in the attack but he did know what McVeigh and Nichols were planning and failed to alert authorities (Biography, n.d.)”. Terry Nichols began to develop some anti-government sentiments similar to those of McVeigh after being discharged from the military so he was the perfect person to assist with the planning. Nichols was so disillusioned by the federal government, that he tried to relinquish his citizenship in 1992 (University of Missouri, n.d.). Although, the relinquishing of one’s citizenship is not illegal, it is a cause for concern. Had there been an investigation on Nicholas when he tried to relinquish citizenship, McVeigh may have come up on the radar and their plans about the bombing may have become known to law enforcement and the attack may have been prevented. The thing that is more concerning is “the FBI and ATF were both monitoring the radical far right in 1995, but because trust between the two was at an all-time low after the catastrophic raid on the compound outside of Waco, Texas, the ATF failed to tell the FBI it had an informant inside a remote community in eastern Oklahoma, who reported there was talk of bombings. The ATF was afraid the information could spark another Waco type event and rather than act on the information they decided to pull the informant out. It was later determined that McVeigh made phone calls to Elohim City, two weeks after the informant was pulled out and there were multiple indications that he visited shortly thereafter looking for recruits. The former
DOMESTIC TERRORIST ATTACKS 4 ATF Director, John Magaw, said in a 2010 interview that if the informant had been kept on, the bomb plot may have been prevented (Gumbel, 2015).
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- Spring '18
- Waco Siege, Oklahoma City bombing, Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Timothy McVeigh, Timothy James McVeigh