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I was quite young on April 19, 1995 when Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the!Alfred P.

Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring more than 680. But I remember the!uncertainty!and sadness in my parents' conversations immediately after the tragedy, and the weeks that followed. McVeigh is known as a domestic terrorist (1), and his actions were widely regarded as the most deadly terrorist attack on United States soil until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.!Because he was tried in the United States, McVeigh was judged by a federal jury. The jury of seven men and five women convicted him of murder and conspiracy and sentenced him to death by lethal injection, but did not refer to him in their decision as a terrorist. Although he killed and injured a significant number of American citizens, the murder charges brought against McVeigh were only those of the eight federal agents on duty when the explosive detonated, but he was also indicted and found guilty of 10 other federal counts including use of a weapon of mass destruction and destruction by explosives(2). He was found guilty sentenced to death on June 2, 1997. I believe McVeigh was rightfully labelled as a terrorist, as his acts fall in line with criteria established by Alex Schmid.!He and his accomplice's!actions outwardly fit almost all!of the terrorism!qualifications we discussed in the course.! For instance, McVeigh was known to be angry at the government and believed that the government held too much power. He was, in part, provoked to large-scale violence as a result of his contempt for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of the “Waco Seige,” a raid on a Christian a religious group called the Branch Davidians(3).!McVeigh believed the government violated the group’s right to bear arms, and that the high number of deaths as a result of the siege!were unwarranted. But while McVeigh’s target was the government, the direct victims that were killed or injured were not the true target of his attack, one of the criteria established by Schmid. Additionally, his actions were predominately political. McVeigh was a veteran of the Gulf War, and his time enlisted in the military spurned his hatred of the government and his belief American’s rights were slowly being taken away.! In an letter he wrote to FOX News in 2001, McVeigh stated: “Bombing the Murrah Federal Building was morally and strategically equivalent to the U.S. hitting a government building in Serbia, Iraq, or other nations. Based on observations of the policies of my own government, I viewed this action as an acceptable option.”(4) His belief that the government was becoming too powerful and continued to!violate the rights of citizens provoked him to massive violence.! Perhaps the most obvious adherent to Schmid’s criteria, is that the Oklahoma City Bombing contained the concept of a physical threat of violence.!

McVeigh took considerable research and planning to execute his attack on the federal building. Working with an accomplice Terry Nichols, the duo began experimenting with a variety of di"erent explosives including pipe and fertilizer bombs during the media frenzy surrounding the Waco Siege two years before the Oklahoma City Bombing. The pair took time and e"ort to create as much su"ering as a result of violence as possible. Finally, the event fits two other criteria of Schmid’s definition of terrorism, including instilling fear and anxiety, and containing motives.! Before the Oklahoma City Bombing, many Americans were unaware such acts could be committed on their own soil. McVeigh’s and Nichols’ terrorist attack spawned political and psychological debate across the country. People all over the country asked themselves, “Why?” and “Could this happen again?”! The incident a"ected millions of Americans, not just those who lost loved ones in the attack, but also those that questioned, and sometimes feared for, the safety of their own towns and communities.!

(1) Source: Kahn, Joseph (September 12, 2001). "A Trend Toward Attacks That Emphasize Deaths".!The New York Times. ( (2)!Source: Eddy, Mark (June 3, 1997). “Guilty On Every Count”.!The Denver Post. (! (3)!Source: Ted Ottley (Retrieved January 18, 2014). “Timothy McVeigh & Terry Nichols: Oklahoma Bombing”.!Tru TV. ( notorious/mcveigh/dawning_1.html) (4)!Source: McVeigh, Timothy (April 26, 2001). “Mcveigh’s April 26 Letter To FOX News”.!Fox News. (