DEVELOPING STORY: Device Found Monday In Backpack Along Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Route In Spokane Was A Bomb ‘Capable Of Inflicting Multiple Casualties,’ FBI Says

This backpack, which contained an explosive device, was found along the route of the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Spokane on Monday. Articles of clothing (pictured below) helped conceal the bomb, the FBI said.

On Monday, America celebrated the national holiday commemorating the life and legacy of community service of slain civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with events in city after city. King, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.

He had become an international figure in 1963, the year hundreds of thousands of Americans streamed to Washington in late August and heard what became known as the “I Have a Dream” speech. The speech was delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” King intoned. “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”

In Washington on Monday, President Obama encouraged Americans to give back to their communities to honor King’s legacy.

“Martin Luther King Jr. lived his life for others, dedicating his work to ensuring equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all,” Obama said. “I encourage every American to observe this holiday in honor of Dr. King’s selfless legacy by volunteering in their own communities and by dedicating time each day to bettering the lives of those around us.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking at the King Center in Atlanta on Monday, recalled King’s “Mountantop” speech delivered on the eve of his death. King’s speech proved to be prophetic.

“And then I got to Memphis,” King intoned more than 40 years ago. “And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now,” King continued. “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live — a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

King was shot and killed the next day.

Holder told the Atlanta gathering that “our long struggle to end suffering and to eradicate violence goes on.”

And the attorney general referenced the Jan. 8 shootings in Arizona that killed U.S. District Judge John Roll and five others, including a nine-year-old girl. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded in the attack. She was shot in the head at close range. Eighteen others also were shot.

“As we continue to mourn those recently lost, and to pray for those now in need of healing and comfort, let us also recommit ourselves to carrying on Dr. King’s work and to honoring the values that were at the center of his life: tolerance; nonviolence; compassion; love; and – above all – justice,” Holder remarked in Atlanta.

The attorney general delivered his remarks on Monday morning in the Eastern time zone of the United States.

On the same day — in the Pacific Northwest, the FBI now says — someone planted a bomb in a backpack along the Martin Luther King Jr. parade route in Spokane, Wash.

These articles of clothing were found inside the backpack, which contained a bomb, the FBI said.

“At approximately 9:25 a.m. PST on Monday, 1/17/2011, a suspicious backpack was discovered on a bench at the southeast corner of N. Washington Street and W. Main Avenue in downtown Spokane,” the FBI said. “The Spokane Explosives Disposal Unit was notified and safely neutralized the device. Subsequent preliminary analysis revealed the backpack contained a potentially deadly destructive device, likely capable of inflicting multiple casualties.”

The agency is treating the incident as a case of domestic terrorism. It noted that the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.

“As a part of this ongoing investigation, the FBI is seeking any information regarding the identity of the person or persons that may have been seen with this backpack from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. on Monday, 1/17/2011,” the FBI said. “If anyone has any information regarding this incident, they are requested to immediately contact the FBI. In addition, if anyone took photographs or video in the area of N. Washington Street and W. Main Avenue from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., they are also requested to contact the FBI as soon as possible.”

Here is the phone number: 206-622-0460.

A bomb was found outside a federal courthouse in Spokane in March 2010.

Earlier this month — on Jan. 12, six days prior to the Tucson shootings — federal prosecutors charged a California man with threatening to kill Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington state.

Charles Turner Habermann, 32, of Palm Springs, was charged with making “two expletive-laden, threatening phone calls” to McDermott’s Seattle office on Dec. 9, 2010.

“In the first call recorded on the office answering system, Habermann threatens to kill Congressman McDermott, his friends and family,” the FBI said. “In the second call Habermann says he will hire someone to put Congressman McDermott ‘in the trash.'”

Last week, the FBI arrested a New Jersey man amid allegations he threatened to kill 47 federal regulators. Vincent P. McCrudden, 49, was accused of creating an “execution list.”

Yesterday in suburban Los Angeles, two students were shot when a gun concealed in a backpack discharged inside Gardena High School.

About the Author

7 Responses to “DEVELOPING STORY: Device Found Monday In Backpack Along Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Route In Spokane Was A Bomb ‘Capable Of Inflicting Multiple Casualties,’ FBI Says”

  1. I was sickened by the disgusting anti Martin Luther King U-Tube video.!

    I saw this promoted on a ponzi promoting forum yesterday. Poor taste or an attempt to preach anarchy to a captive audience? Too revolted to have anything more to say on the matter


  2. This brought back memories of the Weather Underground whose leaders were: Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Mark Rudd. Ironically all who are advisers to the president today.


  3. Unless patrick has some evidence that this terrorism attempt was related to scammers, please do not post them here. People do not come here for terror news.


  4. Boris:

    This site is not just about scammers…this is a news site.



  5. People do not come here for terror news.

    Perhaps you don’t come here for terror news, Boris — but others do. It’s not at the rate they would go to, say, the websites of the New York Times or CNN or ABC News, but this Blog has its place.

    I was happy to publish the photos of the backpack and the T-shirts above. After all, the FBI is investigating the Spokane incident as a case of domestic terrorism — and perhaps the photos and the context of the story could provide important leads.

    Moreover, I’m well aware of the FBI’s concern — as evidenced in Congressional testimony — about the specter of “lone wolf” terrorists and criminals using “shell companies,” the “shadow banking system” and prepaid debit cards to help organized criminal enterprises proliferate.

    Those are the favored tools of the autosurf, HYIP and MLM criminals. Their goals may not be the same — but they are using the same tools.

    The context of the Spokane story is important: a bomb planted along the MLK Day parade route — i.e., a bomb planted on a national holiday in an area sure to attract a large crowd of people.

    At its core, what occurred in Spokane on Monday was not all that different from what occurred at the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Portland over Thanksgiving: a would-be bomber chose a holiday event with the aim of maximizing casualties and creating the most shocking headlines.

    This Blog cannot always connect the dots between and among events. Except in a general sense, there may be no linkage at all between the incident in Spokane and the world of white-collar crime inhabited by the autosurf, HYIP and MLM criminals.

    Even so, the Blog can provide context — and thus help in the effort to educate the public about this unsettling period of U.S. and world history. Just last week, the FBI arrested a man accused of threatening to kill 47 public officials.

    ONE threat against the life of a public official would have been too many. Now, we have 47 such threats in a single case — with the arrest being announced just days after a gunman tried to assassinate a member of Congress in Arizona while killing a federal judge and five others as he fired bullets into the bodies of 19 human beings.

    Next, someone planted a bomb in Spokane that appears to have been designed to maximize civilian casualties — and all of these things are happening as some of the most destructive thinkers this county has ever produced are trying to sue judges and prosecutors and investigators for billions of dollars at a time for the high crime of carrying out their public duties under the law.

    What tool are the destructive thinkers using to gain followers and fan the flames of purported government wickedness? Why, the Internet, of course.



  6. Perhaps what Boris fails to realize is that many of these “scams” are used to either launder money for drug cartels or terrorists and also to take in money to help fund people with evil in their hearts. They are not mutually exclusive.

    Boris, did you forget that a payment processor Andy recommended or used has been tied to a drug cartel??


  7. What tool are the destructive thinkers using to gain followers and fan the flames of purported government wickedness? Why, the Internet, of course.Patrick  

    Your last comment summarizes one of the highly negative aspects of the internet as a tool of communication.

    Generally it has enhanced the communication processes in the world in a way that we could not have imagined 20 years ago, but the down side is it’s use as a dangerous disinformation tool. The internet is a very effective way to spread propaganda and misinformation quickly and on an enormous scale.
    Persuasive ramble rousers have always existed but now they can reach millions instead of hundreds.

    ASD and many other frauds would never have succeeded without the power of the internet, and it is a real possibility that many of the recent acts of domestic terrorism, perpetrated in the main part by very young people, would have happened without it either


Leave a Reply