On Eve of Peter King’s Anti-Muslim Hearings, FBI Arrest White Supremacist Alleged Terrorist

The FBI has made an arrest in the MLK Day Spokane bombing. And the alleged culprit is–not surprisingly–a white supremacist.

An FBI source in Washington, D.C., said one man was arrested east of Spokane. Agents, including a bomb expert from Quantico, Va., were preparing to search a house where others associated with the suspect were living, the source said.

The suspects are apparently affiliated with white supremacists.

The source, who is familiar with the investigation but is not authorized to speak on the record, said that “good police work” led to the arrest and that forensic evidence taken from a backpack bomb was key to the case.

Update (not sure what happened to presser, but maybe Holder has decided not to speak publicly about terrorism since he got dinged the last time):

They’ve identified the suspect as Kevin William Harpham:

An ex-soldier with ties to the white supremacist movement has been taken into custody in connection with the planting of a backpack bomb along the planned route of the Martin Luther King Jr. march in downtown Spokane, authorities have confirmed.

Kevin William Harpham, 36, of Colville, could face life imprisonment on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device, according to documents on file in U.S. District Court. An initial court appearance is scheduled for this afternoon.

  1. Phoenix Woman says:

    Ah, yes — the actual bombing attempt that got far less coverage than the FBI entrapment sting where the FBI agent did all the heavy lifting for crafting the fake truck bomb.

  2. Arbusto says:

    Yesterday two older Sikh men were shot in a drive by, one died on the spot in Sacramento. I lay part of this on Pete’s head. Land of the free, home of the brave? Not in my day.

  3. chetnolian says:

    There is a link to the previous thread. Majority terrorists always get an easier ride. While the IRA was getting all the limelight, especially in the USA, members of the majority (Protestant) community were merrily killing just as many people, usually just because they were Catholic,in the name of “Loyalism”.

    In fairness to the IRA, (a phrase I find hard to say)they were mainly targetting policemen,soldiers and politicians, even in Guildford, and after Bloody Sunday maybe they had a point. The Loyalists were just murdering people they didn’t like for the hell of it. Just like white supremacists. Even now, when people speak of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, everyone thinks of the Provos and few remember the UVF and LVF, who killed as many.

  4. lurkinlil says:

    So is Peter King going to investigate why white supremacists are not helping out more in the war on terror?

  5. MadDog says:

    Per the Spokesman link in EW’s piece:

    …The Southern Poverty Law Center confirmed that Harpham in 2004 was a member of the National Alliance, which is one of the most visible white supremacist organizations in the nation. It was founded by the late William Pierce, who authored “The Turner Diaries,” a novel about a future race war. That book was believed to be the blueprint behind the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh…

    (My Bold)

    The reason I bring this up is that unlike the Islamist terrorist organizations that the US government designates we’re at war with like Al-Qaeda and its offshoots like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), there is no such US government designation for home-grown white supremacist terrorist organizations like the National Alliance.

    Anyone even remotely associated with Al-Qaeda like a cook, a tailor or a driver can be extraordinarily renditioned for torture and indefinitely imprisoned without any judicial conviction of any crime.

    Though I’m not suggesting it, I’d say that a similar non-judical regime being used against a home-grown white supremacist terrorist organization like the National Alliance might just awaken a sleeping public to the unconstitutional and unlawful methods our own government has established as the norm and uses against those it considers enemies.

    • Phoenix Woman says:

      Yup. Of course, this is why they freak out so much when they find out the FBI or DHS is probing right-wing groups: They can dish it but they have no interest in taking it.

      • MadDog says:

        And of course, I’d never suggest the dichotomy between how the US government treats different folks is as a result of race, creed or color.

        Not me. Nope. No way José. /s

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, at least they did charge him w/attempt to use a WMD. I think the Hutaree are some of the other only other white terrorists charged w/WMD.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Does the Southern Poverty Law Center ever identify itself as a contracted informant to the FBI? When Rachel Maddow had her McVeigh Tapes special, her expert guest was from the SPLC, yet somehow he never mentioned SPLC’s special credentials as an informer, and John Doe No. 2 was I think only mentioned in Maddow’s closing statement. One of the few times I’ve felt profoundly disserved by Maddow.

      This is part of my “Eric Holder sucks” / “Trentadue” rant that I’ve posted several times before.

      Horton: Every day I turn on TV and somebody from the Southern Poverty Law Center is saying that anyone who does not approve of whatever the administration is doing at any given time is basically a neo-Nazi, basically responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing. … And, you know, it’s extra frustrating to me since John Doe 2 apparently was an undercover FBI informant … but it’s always somebody from the Southern Poverty Law Center who is the guest, the expert guest… And so I’m kinda curious to know what evidence you have, Jesse, that the Southern Poverty Law Center was in any way involved with the neo-Nazi/cops who did the Oklahoma bombing.

      Trentadue: Well it appears, and first of all, I agree with you, it’s a sad state in our country’s history where to voice an opinion means you’re attacked from one side or the other. It means you no longer discuss things as a nation or a people. That we’ve become so divided now that you’re either one side or the other or forced into one side or the other. But for the Southern Poverty Law Center, they had, and they’ve had – they had apparently informants, another level of informant, at Elohim City at the same time that Strassmeir and Carol Howe and the other government informants were there. These documents that I’ve had them produce, and not widely reported on, refer to the Southern Poverty Law Center reporting to the FBI the information it was receiving from its informants at Elohim City about the bombing.

      Horton: Now do you know who those informants were?

      Trentadue: I do not.

      Horton: Are there any indications whether…

      Trentadue: The names are blacked out. The FBI pleaded with the judge not to turn over any of the documents because they said they had guaranteed five or six people anonymity and confidentiality and it would expose them to risk of their life if their names were disclosed, and the judge said “Well, black out the names but turn the documents over.” So I have documents talking about the informants, but the informants’ names are redacted or blacked out. By their own admission they’ve had five or six there that they had promised protection.

      Horton: Hmm. But I guess, are there any other… because, you know, I remember JD Cash talking about this back in the day and I forget whether he said there was any other indication as to the identities of the informants that were working with Morris Dees.

      Trentadue: I suspect that Strassmeir was reporting to the Southern Poverty Law Center too.

      Horton: See that was something about this, right? – was Janet Reno’s order restricting, I think this is what JD Cash told me, that there was a guideline from the Justice Department that went down that said or that in some way restricted the authority of the FBI to infiltrate groups.

      Trentadue: A religious compound. I talked to JD about that and he’s absolutely right. He believed that it was a cutout operation that the FBI was, that the Southern Poverty Law Center was a straw man being run by the FBI in this operation because the FBI could not, because it was a governmental entity, invade this religious compound. And Elohim City claimed to be a right-wing Christian fundamentalist compound.

  6. MadDog says:

    OT – From the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), pages 8-9 of the FY 2011 Intelligence Bill (13 page PDF):


    (a) INITIAL OPERATING CAPABILITY.—Not later than October 1, 2012, the Director of National Intelligence shall establish an initial operating capability for an effective automated insider threat detection program for the information resources in each element of the intelligence community in order to detect unauthorized access to, or use or transmission of, classified intelligence…

    I’m betting they call this something like the “Bradley Manning Memorial” statute or “Close the Barn Door after the Horse has left” statute.

    • PJEvans says:

      or “Close the Barn Door after the Horse has left” statute.

      They’d never give it a name that sensible. It would expose their idjicy to the public.

  7. tjallen says:

    I wonder why these rural white men are becoming so radicalized? I don’t think holding congressional hearings would help us find out; but maybe.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      I keep wondering about this:

      Horton: In fact I just interviewed a writer, a journalist named Stephan Salisbury, about some of these entrapment cases, these bogus terrorism cases since September 11th. And he talks about how the informants always use Israeli policy, American policy in the Middle East as their talking points to try to provoke these people into saying something stupid into an open microphone so that they can be prosecuted. And they don’t ever say, “Don’t you hate it that women can wear skirts to a primary election?” Or something like that. They always say, “Look at what’s going on in the West Bank! How can you not fight back?” That’s what the provocateur says to entrap.

      It’s kind of a perfect perpetual motion scheme for terror theater. Got injustice? You’re in business forever.

  8. MadDog says:

    OT – On Wisconsin’s Repugs, it’s an example of batshit crazy folks walking up to the edge of cliff screaming “I can fly! I can fly!”, while ignoring the bystanders who are warning “No you can’t! No you can’t!” and then the batshit crazy folks proceeding to jump over the edge.

    • PJEvans says:

      I’d prefer it if they hadn’t tied themselves together with ropes around the legs of everyone else in the crowd.

      I’m feeling like just about every elected official in the country has been using bad drugs; none of them seem to be connecting to reality any more.