White Supremacist Arrested in MLK Parade Bomb Attempt

Suspect allegedly left explosives along route in Spokane
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2011 4:09 PM CST
This undated file photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows a backpack found along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade Jan. 17 in Spokane, Wash.   (AP Photo/FBI, File)

(Newser) – Authorities in Spokane today arrested a 36-year-old man with ties to a white supremacist group in the attempted bombing of the city's MLK parade in January, reports the Spokesman-Review. The suspect is Kevin William Harpham, who served in the Army in 1996 and 1997 and now faces life in prison on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He reportedly belongs to the National Alliance. The group was founded by the late William Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries—a novel thought to have inspired 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,” the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project tells the newspaper. Workers found the sophisticated bomb inside a backpack just before the downtown parade was to begin on Jan. 17. Authorities say it had been placed to inflict mass casualties had it gone off.

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