The Morning Brew: FBI foiled Oklahoma man's alleged plot to blow up bank building with fake bomb
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FBI foiled Oklahoma man's alleged plot to blow up bank building with fake bomb
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- Video: FBI, local law enforcement press conference of attempted bomb attempt in OKC
A Sayre man charged with an alleged plot to blow up a bank building in downtown Oklahoma City with a van filled with fake explosives would have caused massive destruction if the bomb had been real, the FBI said.
Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, of Sayre, initially wanted to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., but settled on attempting to detonate a bomb at the BancFirst building, 101 N. Broadway, according to court documents.
The FBI arrested Varnell about 1 a.m. Saturday after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van he had parked in an alley next to BancFirst.
The suspect's family could not be reached for comment Monday.
Racism condemned in Oklahoma and across the country
The Oklahoman's Ben Felder reported a gathering of hundreds in Oklahoma at the state Capitol Sunday. The rallygoers condemned racism and white supremacy in the wake of events Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, where protesters clashed over the removal of a Confederate statue.
Sunday's crowd was diverse, but mostly white. A theme for many at the rally was that it was time for white Americans to speak out against racism in a more direct way.
“The status quo is violent against nonwhite people,” said Stephen Whitmore, 27, a resident of Shawnee. “As a white person, if I don't stand up and point those things out and stand alongside my nonwhite brothers and sisters when they are being attacked and slandered, then I may as well be driving the car.”
By “driving the car,” Whitmore referenced the killing of a young woman in Charlottesville who was run over by a motorist later identified as a Nazi sympathizer, according to The Washington Post.
Similar scenes played out across the country.
Parents looked for guidance on how to talk to their children about Saturday's events, per the L.A. Times.
In the mean time, the spotlight shone on the suspect James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, who is accused of ramming his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of people, killing a 32-year-old woman an injuring 19 others. CNN reports:
Fields made his initial court appearance Monday morning via a video link from jail. He remains in custody. The judge appointed an attorney for Fields and set August 25 as the date for the next hearing.
Fields is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death.
His mother, Samantha Bloom, told the Toledo Blade that she didn't know her son was going to Virginia for a white nationalist rally. She thought it had something to do with President Donald Trump.
Scientists just discovered the largest volcanic region on earth below the surface of a sweeping ice sheet that covers west Antarctica, The Guardian reports.
The University of Edinburgh wrote online that a third-year student's work led to the discovery. The student analyzed publicly available radar mapping data of Antarctica, then proposed his study to school researchers.
Antarctica remains among the least studied areas of the globe, and as a young scientist I was excited to learn about something new and not well understood. After examining existing data on West Antarctica, I began discovering traces of volcanism. Naturally I looked into it further, which led to this discovery of almost 100 volcanoes under the ice sheet.
Max Van Wyk de VriesStudent, School of GeoSciences