White Supremacist Arrested In Attempted Bombing Of Seattle MLK Day Parade

Back in January, I noted that police in Seattle had narrowly averted what could have been a tragedy when they discovered a bomb along the route of the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. Today, they made an arrest:

A Stevens County man has been charged with the attempted bombing along the route of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in downtown Spokane.

A magistrate clerk at the U.S. District Court in Spokane said that Kevin William Harpham is scheduled to make an initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Spokane. Harpham was arrested Wednesday near Addy, Stevens County.

Harpham, 36, has 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 complaint that was unsealed Wednesday.

An FBI source in Washington, D.C., said the man was arrested Wednesday outside a home near Addy. Agents, including a bomb expert from Quantico, Va., were planning to search a house where others associated with the suspect may be living, the source said.

The suspect is believed to be affiliated with white supremacists, the source said.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Harpham was a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance in late 2004. The SPLC said it was not known when Harpham joined or whether he was still a member.

The National Alliance was one of the most prominent hate groups in America for decades, but has fallen on hard times since the 2002 death of its founder, William Pierce, the SPLC said. Pierce is the author of “The Turner Diaries,” a race war novel often referred to as the Bible of the radical right.

I assume that none of us are surprised at that last part.


Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Chad S says:

    I guess this is the “Right wing terrorism” that DHS was pilloried for warning about?

  2. PD Shaw says:

    Is he a war veteran?

  3. John Malkovich says:

    Is he a libertarian?

  4. michael reynolds says:

    I’m somewhat puzzled byt this because I’ve been assured again and again that there are no racists left in the US. That one fine day they all just disappeared. And that to pretend racists still exist is itself, racist. That the only surviving racists are black people who allege that there are still racists.

    Do I have that right Drew and SuperDestroyer and Wiley and the rest?

  5. CB says:

    what mosque did he belong to?

  6. Steven Plunk says:

    Nobody ever said there were no racist. Many of us believe race is overplayed but there are racists out there.

    If everyone wants to keep a score card of the radical Islamist versus the white supremacist go right ahead. Both are threats but one is a larger threat.

    The snark meter is pegged. Say something intelligent instead.

  7. Chad S says:

    PD: I saw some reporting that he was ex-military from Fort Lewis.

  8. mantis says:

    If everyone wants to keep a score card of the radical Islamist versus the white supremacist go right ahead.

    Umm, no thanks?

    I gotta say though, I’m really disappointed that the white community has not done more to help authorities unmask these terrorists among them. Maybe Pete King can hold some hearings about it.

  9. tom p says:

    I assume that none of us are surprised at that last part.

    Can we just skip past the usual boiler plate nonsense and agree that the murder of innocent people is wrong?

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Steve Plunk:

    As you may note, I didn’t name you. When I’ve talked about race as an ongoing problem in society I’m met with rolled eyes and “No, you’re a racist!” bullshit from the right.

    So, for the record, and not for snark: Yes, there are racists in this country. And yes, they are a part of the Right. And yes, the GOP deliberately appeals to them for votes and cannot win national elections without them. And yes, some of them are violent.

  11. Richard Gardner says:

    Your entry sentence is off by about 280 miles – Spokane in Eastern WA near the Idaho Panhandle, not Seattle on the Puget Sound. The SPLC reports this bigot was in the Army in 96-97, which isn’t relevant to anything (so no, not a war vet, and if only 2 years that means he was likely kicked out) – so why is the SPLC even making a deal out of it? Was he ever employed at a Kroger store or Walmart? A gas station?

    I did a little looking, and he is registered to vote in Kettle Falls, WA a small town of ~1500 pop. about 25 miles south of the Canadian border and ~80 miles north of Spokane (and he voted in the Nov 2010 elections).

  12. matt says:

    I’m rather disturbed that a small bomb could be labeled a weapon of mass destruction…

  13. Franklin says:

    I’m rather disturbed that a small bomb could be labeled a weapon of mass destruction…

    Well of course it is. There were WMD in Iraq after all!

  14. c.red says:

    Matt – the bomb was laced with arsenic (rat poison) and by some estimates could have affected thousands of individuals in the crowd. That is why it gets the WMD label.

    SP – Someone is keeping score and currently whites (left, right, lunatic) are ahead by just about 2 to 1 since 9/11 http://www.mpac.org/assets/docs/publications/MPAC-Post-911-Terrorism-Data.pdf

  15. So, the first terrorist attack since Fort Hood that hasn’t had FBI involvement in it up to its neck?

  16. matt says:

    c.red : I find that claim dubious at best but thanks for letting me know.

  17. c.red says:

    I should have been more precise, I agree on the thousands estimates – unlikely. Perhaps there was a mistake of “effected” for people attending or some such.

    The poison is being pretty heavily reported by the Seattle Times though so I’m willing to believe that.