Online Post in Spokane Bomb Case: ‘I can’t wait till the day I snap’
The former Fort Lewis soldier accused of planting a bomb at Spokane’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade reportedly contributed money to a prominent white supremacist and once wrote that he couldn’t “wait until the day I snap” on an anti-Semitic website, according to a nonprofit civil-rights organization.
The former Fort Lewis soldier accused of planting a bomb along the route of Spokane’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade reportedly contributed money to a prominent white supremacist and once wrote on an anti-Semitic website that he couldn’t “wait till the day I snap,” according to a nonprofit civil-rights organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center released additional information Thursday about Kevin William Harpham, saying he posted his thoughts more than 1,000 times on the Vanguard News Network website since 2004.
In a November 2004 message, Harpham, posting under the pseudonym “Joe Snuffy,” wrote, “I can’t wait till the day I snap,” according to the Law Center. The comment was in response to a post about German anti-racists protesting against white supremacists, the Law Center reported on its website.
Harpham’s message said the police cared only about the anti-racists and “turned their loaded guns on the neo-Nazis,” according to the Law Center.
“Videos like that bring me closer to it every time I watch them,” Harpham wrote. “Fear of death is the only thing stopping me and it is a fear that is hard to get over if you can relate to that.”
Harpham, 36, was arrested Wednesday morning near his home outside Addy, a community of about 1,400 people roughly 55 miles northwest of Spokane. He 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, according to a federal complaint. He could face up to life in prison if he’s convicted of the weapon of mass destruction charge.
He is accused of leaving a backpack containing the rat poison-laced bomb on a bench along the route of the Jan. 17 parade in downtown Spokane. Had the bomb gone off, the crowd would have been sprayed with lead pellets coated with rat poison.
A source familiar with the investigation told The Times that authorities were able to link Harpham to purchases of bomb components, including a remote car starter and other electronics. The purchases were traced to various stores, and at least one purchase was made with a debit card, the source said Wednesday evening.
In addition, DNA recovered in the backpack or on the bomb was linked to Harpham, the source said.
In 2004, when Harpham was believed to be a member of the National Alliance, the group was still prominent, according to according to Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The alliance was the most prominent hate group in America for decades, but fell into “rapid decline” after the 2002 death of its founder, William Pierce, Potok said.
Pierce authored “The Turner Diaries,” a 1978 race-war novel often referred to as the bible of the radical right and white supremacists, and believed to have inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. The book depicts a violent overthrow of the government by a small band of white supremacists who finance themselves through counterfeiting and bank robbery.
But Erich Gliebe, chairman of the National Alliance, based in Hillsboro, W.Va., told The Spokesman-Review that Harpham is not a member of his organization.
According to the Law Center, Harpham also showed an interest in bombs, once asking, “Who was the person during WW2 that said something like ‘Those who say you can’t win a war by bombing have never tried,’ ” Harpham posted to VNN, also in November 2004, according to the Law Center.
In 2005, according to the Law Center, Harpham participated in a VNN thread devoted to “The Turner Diaries
Referring to McVeigh, Harpham wrote on VNN that while he was in the Army, “my lieutenant told me Tim McVey [sic] read ‘The Turner Diaries’ and that there was a blueprint for a truck bomb in it.” But Harpham ended up disappointed with the book because “there was [sic] no plans for a bomb inside.”
Harpham also was a contributor to the white nationalist newspaper, The Aryan Alternative, published by longtime white supremacist Glenn Miller, the Law Center said. Miller was the head of the White Patriot Party in the 1980s and before that the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Law Center said. The Law Center said it brought a federal civil case for raising a paramilitary army and using explosives. Miller was convicted of contempt of court in that case.
After the conviction, Miller declared war on the United States, went underground and was subsequently captured with a cache of weapons and explosives after an armed standoff in Schell City, Mo., the Law Center said.
Miller thanked Harpham for supporting his newspaper, writing in 2004 on VNN, “You rank among the top 5-6 VNN’ers in total amount of money contributed. When [we] needed a boost, you were always among those who stepped up.”