The Spokane Spokesman-Review and KXLY Channel 4 and ABC News report on March 9th, 2011 that an individual alleged to be a former member of the National Alliance has been arrested in connection with the bomb found in downtown Spokane prior to a planned Martin Luther King Day parade, discussed in this January 18th post. The individual is identified as Kevin William Harpham, 36, who lives near Colville, Washington, and the Southern Poverty Law Center claims that Harpham is a former member of the National Alliance. Discussion has just started on Stormfront.
Harpham was arrested on March 9th after a raid at his home at 1088 Cannon Way near Addy, WA, by dozens of federal agents who had been assembling in Spokane during the past few days. Witnesses reported hearing a loud explosion that agents used to breach the front door. He is being charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device, which could result in life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted. Mike Ormsby, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced the arrest but provided no other details about how the investigation centered on Harpham. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also briefly mentioned the arrest during a noon press conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, acknowledging the work of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and local law enforcement in the Inland Northwest to finding and arresting the suspect behind the bomb attempt.
-- Read the official criminal complaint HERE.
-- Read Mike Ormsby's official press release HERE.
Primary news video from KXLY Channel 4:
Secondary news video from KXLY: Neighbors express shock at Marpham's arrest, calling him "quiet and reserved".
KHQ Channel 6 has an uncut video of the arrest:
Late this afternoon, Harpham made his first court appearance. Roger Peven, who was Edgar Steele's former public defender, was representing him. Peven waived a bail hearing. U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno said the next federal grand jury convenes March 22nd and will consider whether to indict Harpham on the charges. She set his next court appearance for March 23rd.
Harpham is believed not to have a prior criminal record, since he is a registered voter. Harpham is said to have served in the U.S. Army in 1996 and 1997, assigned to the 37th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington.
Naturally, the arrest caused the SPLC's Mark Potok to jizz all over himself. “What to me this arrest suggests is that the Martin Luther King Day attack is what it always looked like: A terror-mass murder attempt directed at black people and their sympathizers,” said Potok. One commenter to the KXLY story, Fitzontheriver, questioned the SPLC's validity as a source, writing "Why is Southern Poverty Law Center the source with this news? This makes no sense. They are not an law enforcement org., and are not shy about slandering anybody who is not as left wing commie as they are. According to them, if I think Obama is a incompetent idiot I am a racist. I have employed blacks as well as many other races at my company. If I were a racist..they wouldn't have been hired. SPLC is a media darling who just like the media...can't be trusted to tell the truth".
But government and media attention was focused upon White nationalists from the very beginning, so much so that local Aryan Nations and Klan activists made public statements disavowing any connection to the bomb. And they were right -- no one formally associated with either of the two groups had anything to do with it. National Alliance Chairman Erich Gliebe now says that Harpham is not a member of his group, noting that “We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal activity and anyone committing those acts – even hinting or joking – would not be welcome in our organization”.