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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Suspect in MLK Day bomb plot charged with hate crimes (USA)

A reputed neo-Nazi accused of planting a backpack bomb along the parade route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration was newly charged on Thursday with committing federal hate crimes.

The latest charges against Kevin Harpham, 36, were added to a federal indictment originally returned last month in an alleged bombing attempt in Spokane, Washington, on January 17, a national holiday celebrating the birth of the slain civil rights leader.

The three-page superseding indictment charges that Harpham tried to use the backpack bomb to injure individuals attending the parade because of their "actual or perceived race, color and national origin."

It also accuses him of seeking to use a destructive device in the furtherance of a hate crime.

Harpham faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

He was arrested at his home in Colville, Washington, on March 9, about seven weeks after the bomb was discovered along the parade route. The device was neutralized by bomb technicians after it was found, and no one was hurt.

About 1,500 people attended the parade, which was rerouted when the bomb was discovered.

Harpham pleaded not guilty in March to charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and possessing an improvised explosive device.

Officials from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group, said Harpham was a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance in 2004.

U.S. officials have said little about the findings of the investigation that led to Harpham's arrest.

His lawyer, Roger Peven, a federal public defender, was not immediately available for comment on the latest charges.