Oklahoma City bombing

Subject: Sociology
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 8
Word count: 2183
Topics: Social Issues, Crime, Terrorism


The images have been eternally entrenched in our minds; charred and twisted metal scorched burning cars, as well as pouring black smoke. There were also babies’ frail and lifeless figures.  These were not only tiny but also silent witnesses of the death as well as the destruction that occurred on this day.  It was April the 19th and the time were early mornings when the federal building in Oklahoma City in one atrocious moment exploded with the force that sounded like that of a volcano. It sends out its human carnage contents onto the streets that were below it. What appeared few seconds before as the Alfred Murray building in a split second impulse had transformed into an enormous slitting tomb. This paper reflects upon the Oklahoma City bombing.


The entire front wall of the ten stories superstructure was ripped off and thus exposed its innards dangling a chunk of bent rebar pieces, chunks of concrete, and tangled cable strands into the blackened and choking sky. It now stood to burn and harshly quiet apart from the stifled weeping of its few stagnant population and the bawling of the background sirens.  One ex-soldier equated it to the massacre he had observed in the war-ravaged Lebanon. The scene was strange almost too horrendous to put up with (Clinton 2010).

There were numerous bodies, not pieces of them they were scattered about alongside children’s toys as well as workers personal belongings. These were tragic reminders of what had in few seconds before been the significant souvenirs in some of the individuals’ lives. One passerby rapped on a telephone post had her head blustered off.  Members of staff that had been doing things in their workstations were still sited there gloomy and lifeless like helpless shadows out of horrors expanded museum (Sloan, 2016).

Diana Justin, who lay ensnared under a lump of building material that had fallen, was very cognizant of her surrounding. Given that, there was no way she would be removed without upsetting the huge concrete pieces medical practitioners had to cut off her leg.  As she lay in a water pool screaming surgeons employing saws as well as scalpels yet without anesthesia had her leg amputated just under her knee.  The building of the federal office which was home to over 500 workers had been housing a day care center. In the vicinity, an improvised morgue had been put up in what was at one point a playground for the children (Fenwick, 2016).

Those that had been adequately lucky to escape the mayhem were roving about confused and stunned beyond recognition. One man who had a bloodied face was seen drifting down the streets he asserted that he was headed to his home inky that he could not remember where it was nor could he remember his name. One man that was observed getting into the place had his hand cut off but he was not able to realize it given the intensity of the shock he was in that he just went about assisting others oblivious to his situation (Pfefferbaum, 2014).

Individuals that worked nearby were blown out of their desks. Trend Smith, who weighed 241 Kgs, was thrown high into the sky via his hotel room shuttered window. Some blocks away there was a bus filled with passengers that almost got blown to its side. The blast’s force extended for about 31 blocks and blew out windows while heavily causing damage to several buildings (Frantz, 2016).

When the dust settled over 170 people amongst them 20 children were found to be dead while more than 504 were injured.  The damage is approximated to have been $200 million. Federal authorities referred to this bombing as the single biggest terrorist attack ever on US soil. It was, however, not easy to discern if the bombing was a gloomy predecessor to a tacit conflict or the consequent of some criminal activity gone terribly wrong.  However, it was not clear at the beginning of the group that was behind it (Person, 2016).

As the rescue staff progressed with the daunting job of looking for bodies, while medical practitioners started attending to the victims, police started looking for evidence. The visible issue even as the police got into the crime scene was the fact that the blast had created a crater that was 31 foot wide and 8 foot deep at the building’s rear. Fortunate enough an FBI officer fresh from training on truck and car bombs happened to be at the scene he quickly identified blast’s cause and made a call to his superiors in Dallas that an ammonium nitrate truck was used in the atrocious attack (Person, 2016).

Fifty miles from the blast incident Charles Hanger in his usual patrol rounds came across yellow battered 1978 mercury that lacked a license plate; it was over speeding at 82 miles an hour. When he pulled the vehicle over, Hanger reprimanded the 28-year-old driver Tim McVaigh for not having a licensed cover.  When he was just to leave him, he discovered that he had something concealed under his Jacket. When asked what was concealed in his windbreaker McVeigh casually told the police officer that it was a gun.  He was subsequently arrested for driving without insurance, carrying a hidden weapon and driving without tags (Pfefferbaum, 2014).

At the bombing scene, the police effectively searched the ruins for clues that could show them the criminals in this heinous crime. Within no time, they already had what they wanted a licensed plate together with a piece of the axle. This was perceived to have been part of the truck that was employed in the bombing.  Upon running the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) it was discovered that the truck was owned by a Florida-based car rental company. Upon checking with the company, it was found out that the vehicle a 1992 Ford was rented from Elliot’s car shop in Kansas. Elliot asserted the 21-foot truck was rented to Mathew Brown on April 21st. They also provided the FBI artist an explanation of the two men that came to collect the track.

Brown had placed his address as 4717 in Decker Michigan Dyke North Van. This was found to be owned by Lynn Terry Nicholas and Nichols Douglas James. The investigative officers that interviewed Nichols James and his relatives realized that Timothy was their friend, and he had in his possession large quantities of fertilizers and fuel oil. The agents who were already with a search warrant got 29, 54 Kgs baggage of ammonium nitrate fertilizers, a safety fuse and blasting caps in Timothy’s house (Sloan, 2016).

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Upon interviewing neighbors, it was discovered that the Nicholas Brothers and Timothy had done some experiments with explosives by employing household items to generate small bombs by use of bottles as well as cardboards cartons which they would explode on their property for the sake of fun. Some witnesses asserted that in 1993 December, McVeigh and some of the Nicholas brothers paid Thumb Hobbies a visit and made inquiries on the purchase of 100% liquid of nitro model fuel for airplanes. One of the witnesses had made reports that James had at one point in time blamed the American government for all challenges globally (Clinton, 2010).

Federal agents decided they had adequate evidence to put James into custody as well as his brother Terry who was at that point in time at Herrington, Kansas. As this progressed witnessed at the bombing scene provided law enforcing officers with descriptions of how the main suspects looked like. In the course of doing interviews at the Junction City, the federal agents spoke to the Dreamland hotel manager who acknowledged the suspect’s composite sketch. The man stayed at the hotel between the 13th and the 19th of April and had used the names Tim McVeigh and had extreme views on right wing politics, being a military veteran he was especially troubled by the untimely death of the Waco Branch Dravidians. McVeigh is said to have exhibited a lot of anger by the federal government. The hotel manager provided the last address about McVeigh that he had in his possession (Frantz, 2016).

McVeigh waited for his prosecution on traffic related offenses in a cell at Oklahoma’s Perry. Upon feeding the name of McVeigh in the crime information center, they realized that he was in the Noble County jail on charges of traffic and weapons. When he was almost being set free, the District Attorney received a call to hold on to the suspect for he was the main perpetrator of the Oklahoma bombing (Ward, 2016).

The Justice departments, as well as the federal agencies, have always insisted that the bombing at OKC was only perpetrated by McVeigh and Terry without any form of assistance from other individuals. They also asserted that no foreigners were involved in this bombing. Government bureaucrats, as well as some elected officials, kept on accusing those that kept on asking valid questions of being involved in conspiracy theories.  Most of those who had a perception that there was a cover-up of others that were involved could not comprehend how the government could conspire to blow up its building. However, members of the public believed that the only government conspiracy was to cover up its failures that led to the bombing (Fenwick, 2016).

Some government officials disparaged and discharged as redundant the strong evidence about there being prior warnings about the Oklahoma bombing. The warnings were seriously taken by concerned authorities who went on to warn federal agencies. However, no efforts were made to warn members of the public that made visits to the Murray building. Outstandingly, some government officials attempted to unfairly pit members of the public against themselves by asserting that they either believe the government’s stand on the issue or continue believing that the government conspired to blow up its own federal agency’s building (Sloan, 2016).

The tactic was designed by the government to ensure that its officials were absolved of blame. It was employed in diverting members of the public that there were alternative accounts of the events accounts of the entire truth on the occurrences supported by facts. The third alternative, on the other hand, does not absolve government officials of liability, criminal misconduct, and negligence neither does it hold that the building was deliberately blown up by the government. It has been perceived that it was a sting operation by federal agencies that failed miserably. Consequently, it was covered up and is still being covered up by the US government (Fenwick, 2016).

It is believed that government officials had already been given prior warnings by Islamic and local terror groups as well as the Israeli and West Germany governments.  However, the officials also had been warned through their intelligence planted in the groups that were responsible for implementing the bombings. The government bureaucrats, as well as agents that were involved, were criminally and civilly liable because they had not provided enough fail safes. Some the government officials criminally interfered with justice by withholding evidence to sustain a cover up so as to safeguard themselves from public and criminal liability (Frantz, 2016).

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Most of the family members, victims and survivors are overwhelmed by their loss and financial burdens. However, like the public the victims, as well as the survivors, are very much overwhelmed by the complex nature of the case. They are disturbed about the sad truth that the government officials responsible for protecting them knew about the impending danger refused to do anything about it and instead resulted in a cover-up to protect their jobs (Pfefferbaum, 2014).

Evidence shows that the Islamic terrorists that executed the Oklahoma bombing were taking instructions from the Muslim Brotherhood which was supported by Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran and they belonged to the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA), Hamas, AlFatah, AlQaeda, AlFuqra, and the Islamic Jihad. Some the Islamic terrorists that took part in the Oklahoma bombing also participated in the 9/11 attacks as well as the 1993 WTC bombing.  They are still operational in Oklahoma and have established an underground rail structure that can carry out another attack on US soil (Clinton, 2010).

A number of US officials and their friends have not only stopped dealing with known attackers on US soil but are also deliberately failing to enforce the law against the said organizations even though it is a known fact that the same organizations tend to engage in automobile and property scams, tax evasion and  drug trafficking (Perso, 2016).


After the Oklahoma bombing the Clinton administration barefacedly employed the tragedy to fault and smudge people with what Hillary referred to as the great right wing conspiracy. She alleged that this group was made up of militia members, Christians and conservative radio hosts.

In spite of these attempts to smudge the innocent members of the public by the Clintons some members of the major press, a number of elected officials, as well as government bureaucrats publicly derided and dodged any solid evidence pointing to the fact that  there was an involvement of real terrorists. Elected as well as bureaucratic officials discharged any evidence that pointed to the fact that there were warnings about the Oklahoma bombing which were headed by both federal agencies and the Oklahoma administration but without setting structures to warn members of the public.

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  1. Clinton, W. J. (2010). The Tragedy of Oklahoma City 15 Years Later and the Lessons for Today. Vital Speeches Of The Day, 76(6), 261-267.
  2. Fenwick, B. (2016). Media in the Wake of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Bombing: A 20-Year Retrospective*. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 97(1), 53-64. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12252
  3. Frantz, R. H. (2016). Rebuilding Oklahoma City: The Development of Automobile Alley in the Wake of the Bombing*. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 97(1), 96-100. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12256
  4. Person, A., Butzer, H. E., & Butzer, T. (2016). Interview with Hans Butzer and Torrey Butzer, Designers of the Oklahoma City National Memorial*. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 97(1), 86-95.
  5. Pfefferbaum, B., North, C. S., Pfefferbaum, R. L., Jeon-Slaughter, H., & Houston, J. B. (2014). Fear Associated With September 11 Television Coverage in Oklahoma City Bombing Survivors. Journal Of Loss & Trauma, 19(4), 375-388.
  6. Sloan, S. (2016). Placing Terrorism in an Academic and Personal Context: A Case Study of the Oklahoma City Bombing*. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 97(1), 65-74. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12253
  7. Ward, J., & Pilat, S. (2016). Terror, Trauma, Memory: Reflections on the Oklahoma City Bombing-An Introduction. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 97(1), 1-8. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12247
  8. Williamson, J. (2016). A Survivor’s Perspective on Memory and Memorial Culture: Recollections on the 20th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing*. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 97(1), 101-104. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12257
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