January 21, 2011 in City

FBI says it has ‘clarity’ in MLK bomb case

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Background and the latest updates

Federal investigators indicated today that they have made progress in their efforts to identify the person or persons who left a bomb Monday along the planned route of the Martin Luther King Jr. march.

“We’ve obtained quite a bit of clarity” as to the identity of those believed to be responsible, said Frank Harrill, special agent in charge of the Spokane office of the FBI. “But we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”

Asked if investigators were close to making an arrest, Harrill said it was impossible to predict because of many factors.

Harrill said his colleagues in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other local law enforcement agencies that make up the Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force, appreciate leads they have received and continue to ask for any and all information about who may have left what has been described as a very lethal bomb during a thwarted attempt at domestic terrorism.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said his agency has one detective assigned to the terrorism task force, and another is lending a hand. He is being briefed on the investigation every day by the FBI, he added.

When asked if it would be ideal to have the suspect in custody before Saturday’s parade along the same route, Knezovich replied, “I’d like to have arrested him yesterday. We’ll get him or her or whomever.”

Knezovich, who was among those marching on Monday, called the attempted bombing an “extreme act of cowardice.”

“And if you are going to do this in our community, we are coming at you with everything we have,” he added.

As a law enforcement officer, he said, he understands that he will have to put his life in danger, “but we had schoolchildren with us in the march. Our schoolchildren should not be at risk.”

Earlier this week, investigators sent the bomb — which other security sources said could have been detonated by a remote triggering device — to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va.

Harrill has indicated that evidence from that analysis — which could take several days — may be needed before investigators levy charges against any potential suspects.


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