A 23-year-old Oklahoma man has been arrested after he tried to blow up a bank in downtown Oklahoma City using a vehicle bomb similar to the one that destroyed the federal building there in 1995, federal officials said Monday.
The man, Jerry Drake Varnell, had been plotting the attack for months, the authorities said, but was thwarted by a long-running undercover investigation led by an F.B.I. joint terrorism task force.
Mr. Varnell was arrested early Saturday after he parked a van loaded with what he believed to be a working explosive device in an alley next to the bank, and then dialed a number on a cellphone that he thought would set it off, federal officials said. The device was inert and could not explode, the officials said.
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