The FBI is investigating a bomb that, had it detonated, would have caused a mass casualty incident with significant loss of life in Spokane, Washington. It was discovered on Monday along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr parade minutes before the parade was to pass the area. The parade was rerouted away from the device as the bomb squad deactivated the device (blew it up preemptively).
The device inside "clearly would have had the potential to inflict multiple casualties, injury and death, to humans," Harrill said in an interview Tuesday. He declined to describe the device.The FBI certainly isn't ignoring the target.
The FBI said the backpack also contained two T-shirts — one from the 2010 Stevens County Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society fundraiser, and the other reading, "Treasure Island Spring 2009."
About 1,500 people marched along the new route without incident while the Spokane Explosives Disposal Unit neutralized the device.
No one has claimed responsibility or offered a motive, Harrill said. But he called the connection with the King Day march "inescapable."
The head of the FBI office in the region, Frank Harrill, said the bomb was potentially deadly, and called the incident an act of domestic terrorism that was meant to advance a political or social agenda.Harrill said agents have not yet determined a motive, but recognize that it could be linked to the federal holiday honoring King, an African-American who was assassinated in 1968.Spokane is a hotbed of racist activities, and it is in close proximity to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which is home to several white supremacist groups.