‘THEY HAVEN’T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN THIS COUNTRY’…. We talked yesterday about the bomb in Spokane, Wash., that appeared to target a Martin Luther King Day march on Monday. The more we learn, the more it looks as though an extraordinary catastrophe was narrowly avoided.

A bomb left along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade was sophisticated, with a remote detonator and the ability to cause many casualties, an official familiar with the case said Wednesday.

The bomb, which was defused without incident on Monday, was the most potentially destructive he had ever seen, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release information about the investigation.

“They haven’t seen anything like this in this country,” the official said. “This was the worst device, and most intentional device, I’ve ever seen.”

This was a device that had been placed in such a way as to maximize the damage to those marching in the parade.

To date, no one has claimed responsibility for the device, but the area has a history of white supremacist activity. Officials have not yet named any suspects.

We can all be very thankful that three city employees had the wherewithal to notice the unattended bag and contact law enforcement, giving event organizers time to re-route the march –less than an hour before it would have passed by the location of the bomb.

The FBI continues to consider the matter an act of attempted domestic terrorism.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.