An explosive device that FBI bomb experts say could have caused a large number of deaths was found unexploded only one hour before a Martin Luther Kind Day parade in Spokane, Washington.
While the state of Washington’s coastal cities have a largely cosmopolitan, diverse racial and political make-up, conservative, mostly rural eastern Washington has long been regarded as a haven for white supremacists and anti-government militia types.
According to the Associated Press:
Frank Harrill, special agent in the charge of the Spokane FBI office, wouldn’t discuss what specifically made the bomb so dangerous. But he said the investigation has become a top priority.
“It definitely was, by all early analysis, a viable device that was very lethal and had the potential to inflict multiple casualties,” Harrill told The Spokesman-Review.
Harrill said the timing and placement of the device wasn’t coincidental.
“I think the link to the Martin Luther King celebration and march is inescapable,” he said. “At that point, it falls directly in the realm and sphere of domestic terrorism. Clearly, there was some political or social agenda here.”
Another explosive device was found March 23 beside the Thomas S. Foley U.S. Courthouse in the eastern Washington city. No arrests have been made in that investigation, Harrill said, adding that agents didn’t know if the two incidents were related.
More from the Associated Press by way of the Washington Post: