|“||All you tyrannical people will swing in the wind one day for your treasonous actions against the Constitution of the United States. Remember the Nuremberg War Trials.||„|
|~ Timothy McVeigh, on his hatred of the ATF|
Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001) was a former member of the United States Army and a security guard who was responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing. The bombing - which up until September 11 attacks was the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil - killed 168 people and injured many more. The bombing was motivated out of vengeance for the US government's involvement in the Ruby Ridge and Waco massacres.
A shy and withdrawn young man McVeigh became interested in computers and was considered his high school's most promising computer programmer. Following graduation he enlisted in the Army where he served in Desert Storm and earned the Bronze Star. He stated he decapitated an Iraqi soldier with cannon fire on his first day in the war and celebrated. He said he was later shocked to be ordered to execute surrendering prisoners - which was, essentially, a war crime - and to see carnage on the road leaving Kuwait City after U.S. troops routed the Iraqi army.
In his spare time McVeigh studied explosive and sniper training materials. During his time in the army he was reprimanded for purchasing a white power t-shirt at a Ku Klux Klan protest against African-American soldiers wearing similar black supremacy t-shirts. He was a top-scoring gunner with the 25mm cannon of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles used by his 1st Infantry Division and was eventually promoted to sergeant. After being promoted to sergeant, McVeigh earned a reputation of assigning undesirable work to black servicemen and frequently used racial slurs against them. McVeigh tried to join the special forces but washed out of training, and then decided to leave the Army.
After his stint in the army he became a security guard and fell into a transient lifestyle. During this time he became increasingly extreme in his views and fell into financial difficulties. He quit the NRA because he felt it was too weak on gun rights. He became a regular attendee of gun shows across the country, traveling to forty states and visiting about 80 gun shows. 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 by William Luther Pierce.
In the aftermath of the Ruby Ridge and Waco standoffs, McVeigh decided to take action against the government. He considered a campaign of assassination against government officials, but instead decided to target a Federal building.
McVeigh met Terry Nichols in April 1993. The two became friends due to their similar ideals and Nichols helped teach McVeigh on how to construct improvised explosive devices. His anti-government beliefs became even more radical and he began making plans to blow up a federal building. According to McVeigh's authorized biography, he ultimately decided that he would make the loudest statement against the government by bombing a federal building.
McVeigh and Nichols constructed an ANNM explosive device mounted in the back of a rented Ryder truck. The bomb consisted of about 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of ammonium nitrate and nitromethane. He drove the truck to the front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building just as its offices opened for the day. Before arriving, he stopped to light a two-minute fuse. At 9:02am on April 19, 1995 the bomb detonated, destroying the building, killing 168, and wounding hundreds more.
Arrested shortly after the bombing after being pulled over for driving an unregistered vehicle, McVeigh was as first charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm. After figuring out his identity, he was later charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of said weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives, and eight counts of first-degree murder. McVeigh was found guilty of all 11 counts and sentenced to death. Upon being connected to the Oklahoma City bombing, told police he did not want what happened to Oswald to happen to him.
At first McVeigh was imprisoned at the ADX Florence Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. McVeigh was later moved to the prison at Terre Haute, Indiana due to it being the location of the Federal male death row and the site of the Federal execution chamber.
After appeals were dropped by McVeigh an execution date of May 16. However just before the execution the FBI revealed a lot of paperwork it had withheld from McVeigh's lawyers before. The government stayed the execution for just under one month as a result to give all parties time to review the paperwork.
On June 11, 2001, McVeigh was strapped into the gurney in the Terre Haute execution chamber. McVeigh stated that his only regret was that the Murrah Building wasn't completely leveled by his bomb, and also quoted the final stanzas of the poem "Invictus": "I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul."
At 7:14am central time McVeigh was pronounced dead, becoming the first man put to death by the Federal Government since the execution of Victor Feguer in 1963.
Due to a law signed by President Clinton in 1997 to keep people convicted of certain crimes from being buried in military cemeteries McVeigh was ineligible for burial in a military cemetery despite having been honorably discharged. He was cremated and the ashes given to his lawyer who scattered them in an undisclosed location.
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An FBI mugshot of McVeigh
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