You are hereSeattle Times: Man charged with attempted MLK Day bombing linked to neo-Nazi group

Seattle Times: Man charged with attempted MLK Day bombing linked to neo-Nazi group


March 10, 2011- DNA evidence and purchases of electronic components led investigators to the former Fort Lewis soldier accused of planting a rat poison-laced bomb along the route of Spokane's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Kevin William Harpham, who reportedly has links to a neo-Nazi group, was arrested by FBI agents and local law enforcement Wednesday morning at his home near Addy, a community of about 1,400 people roughly 55 miles northwest of Spokane.

Harpham, 36, appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Spokane on Wednesday afternoon, where he was told he had been charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of knowingly possessing an improvised explosive device, according to a federal complaint. The weapon-of-mass-destruction charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison.

Harpham was a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance in late 2004, according to Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. Potok, whose Alabama-based office tracks hate groups in the United States, said it was not known when Harpham joined or whether he was still a member.

However, the chairman of the National Alliance told The Spokesman-Review of Spokane that Harpham is not a member.

Harpham also served in the Army and was based at Fort Lewis during the 1990s.

He is accused of leaving a backpack containing the potentially lethal bomb on a bench along the route of the Jan. 17 parade in downtown Spokane. Had the bomb gone off, the crowd would have been sprayed with lead pellets coated with rat poison.

Investigators believe its placement was designed to maximize casualties.

The backpack was found by three city sanitation workers 40 minutes before the start of the parade.

Federal prosecutors have sealed documents supporting Harpham's arrest.

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