The Oklahoma City Bombing

On April 19, 1995, the face of terrorism in the United States changed forever. At 9:02am a rented Ryder Truck packed with nearly 5 thousand pounds of explosives detonated in front of the north side of the nine-story Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

168 people including 19 children were killed. More than 500 others were  injured. It was the deadliest U.S. bombing in 75 years and until 9-11 it was the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history.

More than 500 federal employees worked at the federal building which had a daycare center on the 2nd floor.  After the blast the daycare was completely gone.

 

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19 children were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing including one year old Baylee Almon  pictured in this photo in the arms of a firefighter

 

 

Quickly the media began speculating that Islamic fundamentalists might be behind the attack because it was similar to other attacks by fundamentalists.  But the explosion turned out to be the work of a decorated U.S. military veteran.

Timothy McVeigh decided to target the federal building after he developed a burning hatred for the U.S. government following the deadly FBI raid on the Branch Davidian in Waco, Texas.  The bombing in Oklahoma City occurred on the second anniversary of the raid in Waco.

McVeigh was pulled over shortly after the explosion for a traffic violation and was taken into custody when the police officer noticed he was carrying a concealed gun.  While McVeigh sat in jail waiting to make bail, the FBI found a piece of the truck axle used in the explosion and tied it to him.  They were able to contact the local police station just before he was to be released.

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Timothy McVeigh after his arrest. A large crowd yelled at him as he was escorted to a waiting police van.

On June 2, 1997 Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosive, and eight counts of first degree murder. Four years later, McVeigh was executed by lethal injection at a federal prison in Indiana.

 

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