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McVeigh was a Gulf War veteran and
gun freak weapons enthusiast, and was connected to the militia movement. He was inspired at least in part by The Turner Diaries, a racist dystopian novel depicting a racial apocalypse. It has since been argued by Ted Kaczynski that his fascination with the book related purely to its terrorism and did not extend to its racism.
McVeigh stated that his attack was a response to the U.S. government's previous sieges of armed cultists at Waco and Ruby Ridge. He had visited Waco during the standoff to express his solidarity with those in the compound. The Oklahoma City bombing was his act of revenge, and he saw his victims' deaths as collateral damage. According to the book American Terrorist, after reading John Ross' novel Unintended Consequences, he decided it might have been better if he had carried out an assassination campaign instead of an act of mass destruction.
McVeigh's life and death have also been the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. These primarily revolve around the notion that the Oklahoma Bombing was a false-flag terror attack; conspiracy theorists argue that McVeigh was a "patsy" and that he is still alive, his execution being staged, or that there was another bomber involved ("John Doe #2").