While we all celebrated the life of MLK yesterday, someone planted a bomb in a backpack along the Parade route. The FBI offered a reward today for information about the potentially lethal bomb found in this backpack.
The discovery before Monday’s parade for the slain civil rights leader raised the possibility of a racial motive in a region that has been home to the white supremacist Aryan Nations.
“The confluence of the holiday, the march and the device is inescapable,” said Frank Harrill, special agent in charge of the Spokane FBI office. “But we are not at the point where we can draw any particular motive.”
He called the planting of the bomb an act of domestic terrorism that was clearly designed to advance a political or social agenda.
The suspicious backpack was spotted by three city employees about an hour before the parade was to start, Harrill said. They looked inside, saw wires and immediately alerted law enforcement.
The parade route was changed to avoid the device. A bomb disposal unit disabled it without incident, he said.
Harrill declined to release details of the device, other than to call it a functional bomb that could have caused multiple casualties.
“The potential for injury and death were clearly present,” Harrill said.
The FBI received no warnings in advance and did not have a suspect, Harrill said. No one has claimed credit for planting the bomb.