Suspect arrested in Spokane terror plot

SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SPOKANE TERROR PLOT…. One of the most serious terrorist threats in a long while came to light two months ago, after someone targeted a Martin Luther King Day march in Spokane, Washington. The attempted murderer used a sophisticated bomb with a remote detonator, and placed the device in such a way as to maximize the damage to those marching in the parade.

Fortunately, city sanitation workers noticed the suspicious package before it could hurt anyone, and the parade was rerouted. But while an extraordinary catastrophe was narrowly avoided, the attempt was still terrifying — a law enforcement official said the bomb was so advanced, officials “haven’t seen anything like this in this country. This was the worst device, and most intentional device, I’ve ever seen.”

Recently, there was a breakthrough in the investigation, and a suspect was taken into custody yesterday.

DNA evidence and purchases of electronic components led investigators to the former Fort Lewis soldier accused of planting a rat poison-laced bomb along the route of Spokane’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Kevin William Harpham, who reportedly has links to a neo-Nazi group, was arrested by FBI agents and local law enforcement Wednesday morning at his home near Addy, a community of about 1,400 people roughly 55 miles northwest of Spokane.

Harpham, 36, appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Spokane on Wednesday afternoon, where he was told he had 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 federal complaint. The weapon-of-mass-destruction charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison.

Harpham was a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance in late 2004, according to Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

By all accounts, this was a meticulous investigation, and law enforcement deserves a lot of credit for tracking down the suspected terrorist. The investigation continues, of course, to see whether the accused may have had accomplices.

And while that continues, I’d love to hear House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King’s (R-N.Y.) take on this. He’s obviously concerned about radicalized Americans who may try to commit acts of terror, but he’s deliberately ignoring white-supremacist groups and monsters like the bomber in Spokane, focusing instead on Muslim-Americans in general.

Indeed, looking back at the terror plots since 9/11, the number plots hatched by non-Muslims outnumber those from Muslims by a nearly two-to-one margin.

Maybe the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee just isn’t paying close enough attention to homeland-security threats?