Thursday, January 27, 2011

MLK Day bomb in Spokane contained rat poison, shrapnel

By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
1/27/2011

Authorities say that a backpack bomb found along the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in downtown Spokane, Wash., last week contained a rat-poison chemical and metal shrapnel, both designed to inflict maximum damage. The FBI is investigating it as an act of domestic terrorism.

CNN, citing a law enforcement official, confirmed that the chemical is found in rat poison and that the shrapnel consisted of small metal pellets. The Spokesman-Review first reported the chemical-shrapnel mix Tuesday, noting that rat poison is used to prevent blood from coagulating.

The bomb was rigged to be detonated remotely, CNN says. Three workers found the gray, Swiss Army-brand backpack on a street corner bench before the parade began, and police disarmed it. The FBI is examining the bomb and the backpack, which contained two event T-shirts linked to nearby Stevens County, Washington.

The FBI says that so far there is no link to "any specific group or individuals" and that it is "premature" to connect it to recent neo-Nazi activity in Idaho.

The white supremacist group Aryan Nations has denied planting the bomb.

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