CBS News: FBI arrests suspect in Wash. MLK day bomb case

March 9, 2011- A US law enforcement official has told CBS News there has been an arrest in the investigation into the backpack bomb discovered In Spokane, Washington in January.

A magistrate clerk at the U.S. District Court in Spokane tells The Associated Press that Kevin William Harpham, who was arrested Wednesday, is scheduled to make an initial appearance later Wednesday.

Harpham has been charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of knowingly possessing an improvised explosive device.

The IED was placed along the route of the Martin Luther King, Jr Day parade, and sources tell CBS News correspondent Bob Orr that it was positioned in such a way to potentially cause significant damage and injuries. It was spotted by passersby the morning of the parade and was rendered safe by bomb squad technicians before it could explode.

Spokesman Review: Suspect in MLK bomb tied to racist movement

March 9, 2011- 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.

Harpham was arrested this morning during a raid at his home near Addy, Wash., by dozens of federal agents who had been assembling in Spokane during the past few days.

CNN: Prosecutor: Suspect in custody in MLK backpack bomb attempt

March 9, 2011- Authorities have a suspect in custody in connection with a backpack bomb found in January along a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in Spokane, Washington, according to U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby for the Eastern District of Washington.

Ormsby told CNN that Kevin William Harpham, 36, of Colville, Washington, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Pacific on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered device.

The suspect was apprehended away from his home, which is in a rural part of Washington state near Colville, a law enforcement source told CNN.

Authorities are trying to determine if the bomb attempt was part of a conspiracy, but for now, the scheme seems to be a "lone wolf" situation, the source said.

In January, the FBI said it would consider recent local neo-Nazi activity in its investigation of the backpack bomb.

Talking Points Memo: Arkansas GOPer: It Was 'Inadvertent' That I Called My Political Rival A 'Pro-Abortion Jewish Lawyer'

March 8, 2011- Chuck Chatham, a committee member of the Garland County Republican Party in Arkansas, was quoted as saying he campaigned against one candidate for state legislature, Democrat Jerry Rephan, because he is a "pro-abortion Jewish lawyer."

Chatham told TPM today that it was "inadvertent" that he referred to Rephan as Jewish, and that he simply does not feel "he is a good match to the conservative people of Garland County."

In an e-mail, obtained by Blue Arkansas Blog, Chatham explains his opposition to Rephan, who is campaigning in a special election against Republican Bruce Cozart for a seat in District 24, which remains vacant after the death of state legislator Keith Krass.

ACLU Press Release: ACLU And Broad Coalition Tell Rep. King Of Concerns About Muslim “Radicalization” Hearing

March 8, 2011- The American Civil Liberties Union, along with several other human rights and civil liberties organizations, sent a letter today to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King (R-NY) expressing deep concern about his committee’s upcoming hearing on the so-called “radicalization of the American Muslim community.” The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, March 10.

The letter, sent by over 40 groups, urges Rep. King and his committee not to conflate First Amendment-protected practices with involvement in terrorism. The letter also criticizes the hearing’s false premise that the Muslim community and its leaders are uncooperative with law enforcement.

The Atlantic Wire: Has Glenn Beck Reached Peak Tinfoil?

March 7, 2011- Seven months ago, Fox News commentator Glenn Beck was hosting rallies for fed up conservatives on the National Mall and contributing alternate histories of the Gore administration to New York magazine. For better or worse, he and that chalkboard seemed like permanent fixtures on the cable news landscape. Writing in The New York Times today columnist David Carr calls Beck "a deeply angry guy on a running tirade about the conspiracies afoot," and asks whether his impassioned appeal to the tinfoil hat brigade will cost him his job. With Beck's ratings slipping--although still quite high for cable news--Carr reports Fox executives are "looking at the end of his contract in December and contemplating life without Mr. Beck." A roundup of opinions of what went wrong for Beck, and just how bad things really are:

Tom Dispatch: Tomgram: James Carroll, Where Did All the Fatwas Go?

March 8, 2011- A week or so ago, a friend of mine noticed a poster taped to a wall inside the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol building, where American demonstrators were camped out.  It showed a lone demonstrator walking toward a line of helmeted Egyptian police, holding high a protest sign.  Under the photo, a caption said simply: “Walk like an Egyptian.”

If you want to know something new about our American world, just think about that.  No further explanation was needed.  Across this country Americans undoubtedly understood just what that meant and what it represented: an unbelievably brave explosion of desire for freedom in the Arab world.  If that caption had said, “Walk like a Tunisian (or Bahraini, Algerian, Iranian, Iraqi, Omani, Libyan, etc.),” few would have found that strange either.  It’s already as normal here as mom and apple pie.  And yet, had you predicted that this was coming as 2010 ended, you would have been laughed out of the American living room by experts, among others, who assured you that Arabs were incapable of such acts, that their religion prevented it, and that “walk like an Egyptian” was nothing more than a 1986 hit by the Bangles about the bizarre way Egyptians of old moved.

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