Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh claims many Americans share his sympathy toward anti-government militia groups, The Sunday Times reported.
“For a long time, I thought it was best not to talk about my political views,” McVeigh told the newspaper. “But millions share them, and I believe it is gravely wrong that I should allow the government to try and crucify me just for believing what I do.”
The British newspaper interviewed McVeigh at a prison in Englewood, Colo., where he and co-defendant Terry Nichols are awaiting trial in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, which killed 168 people.
McVeigh has denied guilt in the bombing, but said in the Times interview that the government has earned violent opposition overall.
“I don’t know about war, but I do know about disenchantment,” McVeigh said. “They say the government is the omnipresent leader - but when they govern by the sword, they must reckon with protest by the sword.”
The Sunday Times said he admitted that he had read “The Turner Diaries,” a white supremacist novel that details a plot to bomb FBI headquarters in Washington.
“I read it as a gun-rights advocacy book,” he told the newspaper.
The Sunday Times asked McVeigh how he reacted to the fire that ended a government siege of a Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993, killing 81 cult members.
“I follow events and what I saw reminded me of Tianamen Square,” he said. “How could the same thing happen in America? I saw a localized police state.”
Federal authorities allege McVeigh bombed the federal building in retaliation for Waco. Earlier this month, a videotape came to light that shows McVeigh at the Branch Davidian compound shortly before it was engulfed by flames.
McVeigh’s and Nichols’ trial is expected to begin late this year or early next year.