Wednesday, March 09, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Arrest Made In Spokane MLK Day Backpack-Bomb Case UPDATED

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

You all remember that "isolated event" on MLK Day in Spokane, where someone left a bomb in a backpack along the day's parade route, a bomb that would have been extremely lethal if it had not been discovered.

Well, there's been a break in the case:
A significant break in Martin Luther King Day backpack bomb investigation in Spokane occurred this morning when an FBI SWAT team executed a search warrant and reportedly made one arrest Wednesday morning in the small northeastern Washington town of Addy.

FBI officials weren’t immediately available for comment, but indicated the name of the suspect would be forthcoming in a news release.

The case has been investigated as a case of domestic terrorism.

Addy is a community in Stevens County, in the northeastern corner of Washington state, bordering Canada. The county has long been a hotbed of extremist and Christian Identity activity.
Of course, in Spokane, no one was calling this an "isolated event.

More details as they arrive.

UPDATE: The Spokesman-Review reports that the suspect is a 36-year-old Kevin Harpham from Stevens County:
An ex soldier with ties to the white supremacist movement has been taken into custody in connection with the planting of a backpack bomb along the planned route of the Martin Luther King Jr. March in downtown Spokane, authorities have confirmed.

Kevin William Harpham, 36, of Colville, could face life imprisonment on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device, according to documents on file in U.S. District Court. An initial court appearance is scheduled for this afternoon.

Harpham was arrested this morning during a raid at his home near Addy, Wash. by dozens of federal agents who had been assembling in Spokane during the past few days.
The Southern Poverty Law Center confirmed that Harpham in 2004 was a member of the National Alliance, which is one of the most visible white supremacist organizations in the nation.

It was founded by the late William Pierce, who authored The Turner Diaries, a novel about a future race war. That book was believed to be the blue print behind the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh.

“What to me this arrest suggests is that the Martin Luther King Day attack is what it always looked like: A terror-mass murder attempt directed at black people and their sympathizers,” said Mark Potok, who is the director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project that tracks and investigates hate groups.
Methinks Bill O'Reilly owes Potok an apology.

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