FBI Investigating Bomb Attempt At King Day Parade
This story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, mostly because the bomb didn’t go off:
The FBI is investigating whether racial bias could have played a role in the apparent attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in Spokane, Wash., officials said Wednesday.
Three city employees spotted an unattended black backpack on a bench about an hour before the parade honoring the slain civil rights leader was to start on Monday. When they looked inside and saw wires, they alerted Spokane police, who defused a potentially lethal explosive device, officials said.
No one was injured in the incident, which came amid growing concern nationally over what authorities call a wave of homegrown terrorism. But if the bomb had gone off, it could have caused multiple deaths or injuries, officials said.
“The device appeared to be operational, it appeared to be deadly, and it was intended to inflict multiple casualties,” said Special Agent Frederick Gutt, a spokesman for the FBI’s Seattle field office.
Law enforcement sources familiar with the device, which is being analyzed at the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., said it had a remote detonator and was positioned so that any blast would have been directed at the crowd of marchers. “Someone obviously took some time with it,” said one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is unfolding.
There’s been a history of white supremacist activity in the Pacific Northwest in the past, although it’s mostly been confined to Idaho. Whether that’s the source of this potentially devastating threat or not is unclear.