Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Catastrophe averted: Bomb placed along MLK Day parade route in Spokane safely disarmed

An unattended backpack left near the route of Spokane's MLK Day parade route yesterday contained a potentially lethal bomb that could have killed several people had it gone off, federal authorities have confirmed:
The FBI confirmed Tuesday that the Swiss Army-brand backpack contained a bomb that could have caused “multiple casualties” and credited Spokane city employees who noticed the suspicious bag and alerted authorities in time to re-route the parade. 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.”
Let's hope those responsible are found and brought to justice. We owe a debt of gratitude to the city employees who found the bomb and alerted police. Thanks to their quick thinking, a catastrophe was averted.

It's hard to analyze the motives of the person or persons behind this attempted act of terrorism without knowing who they are. But given that the objective seems to have been to kill and wound people at a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s enduring legacy, we're guessing that the individual or individuals involved are right wing eliminationists who hate the notion that America has become a more free and more equal country in the decades since the 1960s.

This is actually the second bomb that has been found in downtown Spokane in the last year. A previous explosive device was found last March outside Spokane's U.S. Federal Courthouse, named for former Speaker Tom Foley. It was also disarmed and removed from the scene before anyone was hurt.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has posted a copy of the FBI's Information Wanted poster and the photographs of the backpack and two of the T-shirts inside.


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