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.
“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.
Not surprising. Hey, Rep. Peter King, when do we get to hold hearings into right-wingers not doing enough and not working with the government to prevent a very small minority from becoming radicalized. They’re not turning in their own! Or is that just for Muslims?