How are the Waco siege and the Oklahoma City bombing connected?

Waco: American Apocalypse. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Waco: American Apocalypse. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Most people know that the Oklahoma City bombing was a devastating domestic terror attack on American soil that took place on April 19, 1995, and resulted in the deaths of 168 people, with more than 600 others injured. The bombing was perpetrated by anti-government extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. But did you know there is a disturbing connection between the bombing and the siege that took place two years earlier in Waco, Texas?

McVeigh and Nichols bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, destroying over 300 buildings within a 16-block radius. But many are unaware that McVeigh specifically chose the date of the attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the Waco siege.

The new three-part Netflix documentary series Waco: American Apocalypse briefly touches on the connection between these two tragic events. Coincidentally, the docuseries also marks an important Waco anniversary, as this April will mark the tragedy’s 30th anniversary.

Ruby Ridge and Timothy McVeigh

In August 1992, U.S. marshals attempted to apprehend Randy Weaver at his family’s hillside cabin in Ruby Ridge, a remote location in northern Idaho’s Boundary County, an event that resulted in an 11-day siege.

According to History Channel, Weaver was under arrest because he had resisted the ATF’s efforts to inform on a white supremacist group (Weaver was a self-proclaimed white nationalist), and he had skipped out on his trial related to weapons charges. The actual siege at Ruby Ridge was the culmination of a multi-year investigation into Weaver.

The resulting siege ended with Weaver’s 14-year-old son, Samuel, and his wife, Vicki, getting killed. A U.S. marshal was also shot and killed in the skirmish. Timothy McVeigh believed that the Ruby Ridge incident was a startling example of the government’s intent to take away American citizens’ right to bear arms.

Waco connection to the Oklahoma City bombing

Less than one year after the Ruby Ridge siege, the 51-day standoff between David Koresh and the Branch Davidians and Texas ATF started, ending with dozens of deaths. The Waco, Texas tragedy only furthered McVeigh’s opinions that the American government had overstepped and was planning to strip away the country’s second amendment rights. McVeigh was not an outlier, as Waco stoked the fire of several far-right groups.

The Oklahoma City bombing occurred on April 19, 1995, exactly two years after the Waco siege concluded. This date was no coincidence, as McVeigh clearly intended to send a message. History Channel reports that the Oklahoma City bombing remains one of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, resulting in the deaths of 168 people, including 19 children. Hundreds more were wounded.

“Before he was executed in 2001, McVeigh made it clear that he intended the bombing as retribution for the deaths at Waco and Ruby Ridge, and had deliberately planned the bombing to take place on the second anniversary of the Waco disaster,” says the article from History Channel.

Waco: American Apocalypse is now streaming on Netflix.

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