By today’s standards Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh would fit in well with the alt-right. Twenty-three years later, to the day, some even consider McVeigh to be a hero for killing 168 people, including 19 children.
In a Buffalo News report, alt-right members have been praising McVeigh and like him, they fit into the mold of a lone wolf. Most recently, Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested for attempting to reenact the OKC bombing at a bank just blocks from where the Alfred P. Murrah federal building once stood.
“What happened in Oklahoma City was not an attack on America, it was retaliation,” Varnell said last year prior to his trek to the city in what he thought was a vehicle bomb. “Retaliation against the freedoms that have been taken away from the American people.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported at least three people arrested in 2017 said that they admired the Oklahoma City bomber. A member of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer even proposed building a memorial to the convicted mass murder, who was put to death on June 11, 2001.
“Think of it, a gigantic bronze statue of Timothy McVeigh poised triumphantly atop a Ryder truck,” wrote Daily Stormer webmaster Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, who considers himself a neo-Nazi instead of a member of the alt-right.
“I am not joking,” Auernheimer added. “This should be done. Imagine how angry it would make people.”
In addition to Varnell, The SPLC noted police in Tampa investigated Brandon Russell for a double murder involving a neo-Nazi last year. He possessed the same bomb-making materials that McVeigh used more than two decades ago.
A Pennsylvania Bryan Moles was arrested in Washington, D.C. with an assault rifle, handgun and 90 rounds of ammunition at the Trump Hotel. He told an FBI informant he “wanted to be like Timothy McVeigh.”
In the past year, Jeremy Christian was also another anti-government white supremacists, who supported McVeigh. He was charged with murder after slashing the throats of two men who were trying to help two Muslim women Christian was harassing on an Oregon commuter train.
“May all the Gods Bless Timothy McVeigh — a TRUE PATRIOT!!!” he posted on Facebook.
While there haven’t been any knowingly McVeigh-inspired terrorists arrested this year, one anti-government activist, reminiscent of him, is running for governor in Nevada.
Norm Olson, one of the Bundy’s supporters, said he had a message for members of Congress: “Timothy McVeigh DIED FOR YOUR SINS!!!!!!!!!”
The Buffalo News cited psychology professor Tom Pyszczynski explained that it is clear racists and anti-government activists have felt emboldened since President Donald Trump took office.
“It’s not that many people, but it’s hard to tell how many because they usually don’t go public except in the fringe groups they belong to,” he said.