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Group says bomb plot suspect, Jerry Drake Varnell, no longer a member

Posted at 7:54 AM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 08:59:43-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An anti-federal government group says a man accused of plotting to bomb an Oklahoma City bank was briefly one of its members but is no longer.

A statement issued by the III% (three percent) United Patriots also repudiates the alleged actions of Jerry Drake Varnell. III% United Patriots spokesman Dylan Hunter says Varnell's claim to adhering to III% aims "are blatantly false" as the group does not condone acts of terrorism. He said Varnell had signed up to be a member less than a year ago but was never active and has been removed from the Oklahoma and national membership rolls.

RELATED: FBI arrests man accused of plotting to detonate bomb in downtown Oklahoma City

A criminal complaint says the Sayre, Oklahoma, man told undercover investigators he sympathizes with "III% ideology," which pledges resistance to the U.S. government. He also said he wanted to use a device similar to the one that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.

Undercover FBI agents prevented the attack from actually taking place. Varnell is charged with attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in interstate commerce and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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