The man arrested today in connection with the attempted Martin Luther King Day parade bombing in Spokane, Washington, appears to have longtime connections to the white supremacist movement.
Kevin William Harpham, 36, was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and receiving and possessing an improvised explosive device.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Harpham was a member of the National Alliance, an infamous neo-Nazi organization, in late 2004. It’s not clear when he joined the National Alliance or whether he’s still a card-carrying member.
But an individual identifying himself as Kevin Harpham, who says he’s a neo-Nazi who lives near Spokane, has been active on the crudely racist, anti-Semitic website Vanguard News Network since joining the online forum in November 2004.
Since then, Harpham has posted 1,069 comments to VNN using the moniker Joe Snuffy, slang for a low-ranking U.S. soldier. (Kevin William Harpham was apparently in the army in 1996-1997 and was based at Fort Lewis, Wash., the Southern Poverty Law Center reported earlier today.)
Harpham last posted to VNN on January 16, the day before the attempted MLK Day parade bombing.
Ten days before that, Harpham offered shelter to violent neo-Nazi activist Craig Cobb, a part-time resident of Kalispell, Montana who is a fugitive from justice in Canada, where he’s wanted on hate crimes charges.
“Craig, if you read this and you need a place to stay for the winter I have an empty basement with a couple rooms, a bed and bathroom you can live in till spring,” Harpham posted. “I live in Washington not too far from Kalispell.”
Kevin William Harpham was arrested today in a rural area south of Colville, Washington, just across the Idaho panhandle from Montana.
A white supremacist website founded by Cobb in 2007, Podblanc, features tribute videos to “lone wolf” white supremacist killers, including Benjamin Nathaniel Smith, who in July 1999 went on a three-day shooting rampage targeting Jews and non-whites. Smith killed two people and wounded nine before turning his gun on himself.
On Jan. 8, Cobb apparently posted a message to supporters on VNN encouraging them to follow the examples of lone wolf terrorists such as Joe Stack, who flew a small plane into a building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas in 2010, and James von Brunn, the neo-Nazi who killed a security guard after he opened fire at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. in 2009.
“Ask all to seriously internally take direct personal action upon furthering Our Cause, doing something they haven’t yet done before, or repeating something that has been highly effective,” Cobb wrote.
Cobb wrote there was a “small chance” he’d take Harpham up on his offer of basement space.
Harpham wrote about lone wolf violence in response to an August 2009 article in USA Today that reported, “Federal authorities have launched an effort to detect lone attackers who may be contemplating politically charged assaults.” Harpham wrote: “A lone Wolf would be hard pressed to compete with the level of destruction the jew bankers are doing to the country right now.”
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