In Spokane, WA on January 17th during a peaceful march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day, a bomb was discovered on the corner of Washington Street and Main Avenue. The bomb was discovered in a Swiss Army brand back pack right on the path of the parade. Authorities investigating the incident say they have no doubt the bomb was intended for the people participating in the march.
Tony Stewart, a member of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, said, “There would be no question that since it was planted directly on the path of the Martin Luther King Jr. march, that it has to be connected to hate crimes. It was an attempt to injure and kill people because they were out there promoting the equality of human rights. The evidence is just too overwhelming.”
Once the back pack was discovered, the police chief said, he was not going to take any chances and rerouted the parade. The Spokane police chief reported an increase in anti-government, hate literature and other white supremacist activity in the last two years. However, two weeks prior to the event nothing was reported. The crimes in the last two years can be attributed to several people in the Arian Nations group linked to the 1980's bombings.
The FBI confirmed, the bomb in the bag could have caused multiple injuries. Chemicals were mixed with shrapnel to inflict the maximum casualties. Officials say the bomb was carefully placed on a metal bench with a brick wall behind the bench to carefully direct the shrapnel towards Main Avenue, where the marchers were expected to pass. Hundreds of people, including children had gathered on the route of the parade to watch the parade and there could have been several casualties and injuries.
|Photo released by the Spokane FBI Office of the back pack and the t-shirts that were found in the bag.|