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Judge critical of FBI in MLK bomb case

An FBI plan to not tell domestic terrorism suspect Kevin W. Harpham why he was arrested has raised the ire of the federal judge presiding over the case in which the Stevens County man is charged with leaving a bomb along the route of the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March.

According to documents released today, U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush expressed his “concerns as to the several hour delay in advising Kevin Harpham of the reasons for his arrest after taking him into custody and also the failure to give the Defendant Miranda warnings during that several hour period,” the record states.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Photos place Harpham at MLK march

Federal prosecutors for the first time today revealed that domestic terrorism suspect Kevin W. Harpham took pictures of himself at the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March, where he is charged with leaving a bomb along its route.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Rice said in court that Harpham, 37, also photographed young black children gathering for the march and a Jewish man who was wearing a yarmulke.

“Whether rightfully or wrongfully, how the defendant sees the world,” Rice said of Harpham, “he intended to target those individuals.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

MLK bomb suspect due in court today

A man suspected in the attempted bombing the Unity March on martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spokane is due in court this afternoon.

Kevin W. Harpham, 36, is expected to plead not guilty to charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and unauthorized possession of an unregistered explosive device at his arraignment today before U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno.

The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., but Imbrogno has three hearings scheduled at 1:30 p.m. that may push it back.

Harpham has extensive ties to the white supremacist movement and authored more than 1,000 postings on the racist website Vanguard News Network.

A grand jury indicted him Wednesday.

Read Tom Clouse's full story here.

Past coverage:

March 13: Postings reveal suspect's views

March 10: White supremacist arrested in MLK bomb plot

Chief praises police action in MLK bomb

Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick on Wednesday praised Sgts. Jason Hartman and Eric Olsen for their decisions to reroute the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade after a sophisticated bomb was found along the original route.

“We are trying to have a national conversation to learn to say, ‘See something, say something,’ ” said Kirkpatrick, pictured above with Olsen. “I’d like to get all of our residents to

put that phrase into their thinking. We don’t want to be a city paralyzed by fear, but we must be a community that is mindful.”

Olsen, who was managing the traffic around the MLK march, said Hartman (right) called him at 9:37 a.m. Monday and told him about the backpack, which was discovered by three workers from the Spokane Public Facilities District.

Without enough time to determine what was inside, the sergeants decided to change the route of the march.

“We always assume the worst,” Olsen said on Wednesday. “But when I found out it was a viable device, I was both scared and relieved. I was scared that someone would do that but relieved that it was resolved. I felt very fortunate … just from the chaos and devastation it would have caused.”

The FBI said on Wednesday that hunt for the person who left the bomb will focus on two aspects: forensics and the region’s violent history with white supremacists.

Read Thomas Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Jan 18: FBI says backpack on Spokane parade route was bomb

FBI: MLK bomb is ‘domestic terrorism’

 

In what federal authorities are calling an act of “domestic terrorism,” a bomb capable of killing multiple people was discovered along the route of Spokane's martin Luther King, Jr., parade on Monday.

The device was found in a Swiss Army-brand backpack by Spokane city employees, who alerted authorities in time to re-route the annual Unity March.

A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

“It definitely was, by all early analysis, a viable device that was very lethal and had the potential to inflict multiple casualties,” said Frank Harrill, the special agent in charge of the Spokane FBI office. “Clearly, the timing and placement of a device – secreted in a backpack – with the Martin Luther King parade is not coincidental. We are doing everything humanly possible to identify the individuals or individual who constructed and placed this device.”  

The backpack and clothing found inside are pictured above.

Sources say the bomb was equipped to detonate by a remote device, such as a car remote or a garage door opener. The bomb apparently also had its own shrapnel that could have caused significant injuries to anyone near the blast.

Read Thomas Clouse's story here.