Oklahoma City Bombing Research Paper

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feared terrorist acts in the history of United States where Oklahoma City was targeted as the place for criminal act. The intention of this paper is to give a brief overview of the event that took place in 1995 and the conspirators behind this criminal act. Their plot and details of attack have been elaborated in a well form, which discuss every aspect of the activity from plotting of the criminals and the after effects of the horrible incidents upon people who survived.

This horrible event of the history took place on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Downtown Oklahoma City scheduled for April 19, 1995 and according to the scheduled conspiracy, the criminal act took place right on time claiming hundreds of innocent lives (Giordano, Pg. 5). It is regarded as the most destructive terrorist attacks in the United States after which soon followed the 9/11 attacks on Twin Towers. Oklahoma bombing was responsible of claiming one hundred and sixty eight lives, which included nineteen children under the age of six years. Apart from casualties, six hundred and eighty people were reportedly injured in the attack. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were the two conspirators of this crime who at that time served as trainee to U.S. Army and planned the attack in response to unjustified handling of federal government's Federal Bureau Investigation standoff with Randy Weavers (Hinman and Hammond, Pg.9). According to the investigations, Randy Weavers, a former Green Beret, committed a deadly confrontation with federal agents at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The fifty-one day standoff resulted when ATF tried to destroy a search warrant. This attempt lead to starting an open fire from either of the two parties and as a result of which killed David Koresh the leader of Branch Davidians religious acts. McVeigh planned to bomb Federal properties later after this incident took place and so with other accomplices he planned the bombings at Alfred P. Murrah Building on April 19 (Hoffman, Pg.23).


The bombing was a planned conspiracy by the much angry McVeigh and his acquaintances Nichols, Michael Fortier and his wife Lori Fortier. Their planned attack claimed hundreds of lives and according to estimations, the damage that the state had to bear rose to $652 million worth. After the explosions, Oklahoma State Trooper Charlie Hanger spotted McVeigh for driving an unlicensed car (Israel and Jones, Pg.34). He was also found to be carrying an unlawful weapon at that time. With suspicions of him driving an unlicensed car and carrying weapon, he was arrested immediately and sent for further investigation. The forensic investigations revealed McVeigh involved with the bombing after which he was immediately made to reveal other conspirators in the attacks. Upon revealing, Terry Nichols was arrested and charged with the crime of bombings in Oklahoma City. Upon further investigation, the duo revealed names of Michael and Lori Fortier (Michel and Herbeck, Pg.42).

According to McVeigh, he planned the attack on the day of second anniversary of Waco Siege and Ruby Ridge incident as his memorial to the unfortunate and mishandled incidents. The conspirators wee trialed and sentenced in the year 1997 by McVeigh receiving a lethal injection and Nichols being sentenced to life imprisonment. Moreover the Fortier couple testified against McVeigh and Nichols which resulted in the husband Michael sentencing twelve years in prison while the wife receiving immunity as a result of her testimony (Rappoport, Pg.54).

Motive of the attack:

As stated earlier, McVeigh and Nichols planned the attack in response to federal government's inadequate management and poor handling of the Ruby Ridge incident. They proposed that the matter was totally biased and that Randy Weaver was unjustifiably brought into considerations for investigative search. This attack was an outcome of enraged minds and the two young Army trainees were driven into responding the federal government in such a horrifying way that none of us would have encountered an incident of such nature in the past before the 9/11 attacks. The trainees were supposed to have terrorist influences, which can be regarded in a way that McVeigh compared the attack to Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear blasts but he stated that he planned it in a way that less lives be lost during this attack (Wright, Pg.46).

Planning of the attack:

The conspirators had certain motivation, which had them plan the deadly attack, and that motivation came from the Ruby Ridge incident taking place and claiming lives of many people when federal agents and Randy Weaver opened fires after the attempt of destroying the search warrant was made. McVeigh blamed the federal government for poorly handling this situation as loosing fire from both sides especially Federal agents became an agitating factor for McVeigh and Nichols (Giordano). They decided to avenge the situation by destroying one of the federal properties as a mark of showing their unreliability in the government and an answer to the unjustified incident of Ruby Ridge (Giordano, Pg. 67). McVeigh begin planning for the attack after deciding that the message be delivered along with killings of people to make it intense and thoroughly delivered to the federal government in response to their poor strategy. It was decided that one of the few law enforcement agencies be targeted for the attack and therefore hey began in search of the most suitable place for their planned attack. After much consideration from McVeigh and Nichols, Alfred P. Murrah Building was chosen as the final target for the crime. Murrah Building was built in 1977 and had been a recruiting office for Marine and Army Corps therefore it was considered as a vital place for the attack which would serve as a good channel of message flow (Hinman and Hammond, Pg. 78). According to McVeigh, he wanted to have a less number of non-governmental killings therefore choosing Murrah Building had this one out of many reasons. Murrah Building had an entire glass made front and due to having a large parking space to its adjacent, it was believed that nearby building and residents would remain safe form the blast. McVeigh constructed the bomb and he chose all means to collect the right materials of a massive destruction-causing bomb. Initially nine kinestiks guns were obtained from gun collector Roger E. Moore. Nichols from Kansas later acquired twenty-three kilograms of ammonium nitrate, forty bags each. In 1994, McVeigh and Nichols tried to agree the Fortier couple in assisting them to prepare the bomb for the attack but they plainly refused to be involved in the crime act. As a result of which McVeigh himself constructed the bomb which according to the plan had 5000 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer mixed with 1200 pounds of liquid nitro methane and 350 pounds of Tovex which is a water gel explosive consisting ammonium nitrate and methyl ammonium nitrate (Hoffman, Pg. 138).

To accommodate his plan, McVeigh further rented a place where he could construct his weapon. According to the reports, bomb was constructed sing 18-inch long Tovex sausages, 80 spools of shock tube, and 500 electric blasting caps. He constructed a prototype bomb, which made use of a plastic Gatorade jug containing ammonium nitrate pills, Tovex sausage, liquid nitro methane and a blasting cap. Further, he rented a motel room along with a Ryder Ford F-700 Truck, which was then parked near the Murrah Building containing the bomb and removing the number plate, which worked, as a strategy since a car without the number plate, could not have been towed. McVeigh and Nichols also dispatched a note with the truck saying "the car does not belong to anyone therefore please do not tow it."

Description of the bombing:

McVeigh believed that a man has a right to kill as along as his liberty is endangered. This was excerpted from a John Locke quote, which asserted on the similar message and McVeigh found it to be a motto for him (Israel and Jones, Pg.175). According to McVeigh, the prototype bomb would have to be detonated in a desert so that to avoid identification therefore, he planned to detonate the bomb at 11:00 AM but he later changed it to 9am. After arriving at Oklahoma City, McVeigh moved to the Ryder truck parked near the Murrah Building and lit the first five minutes fuse and later the two-minute fuse. He quickly went away and dropped the keys somewhere near while going back to his car. Approximately, at 9:02 AM the truck exploded carrying the bombing material and destroyed the nine stories Murrah building causing the humans nearby being injured and killed in the blast. The building was destroyed with a ratio of one third creating a thirty-foot wide and eight-foot deep crater on the street adjacent to the building. As planned by McVeigh to keeping to adjacent properties safe, the strategy failed and destroyed 324 buildings nearby and shattered glasses of 258 buildings (Michel and Herbeck, Pg.179). These destructions accounted for many deaths, which included five percent of the deaths caused by shattered glass, and sixty nine percent…[continue]

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