Former Fort Lewis soldier pleads guilty in Spokane parade bomb plot

The man charged with placing a bomb along a Spokane parade route pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said.

Kevin William Harpham, 37, pleaded guilty to charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempt to commit a federal hate crime for the January 17 incident where a bomb was left along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March.

The FBI described the explosive device as capable of inflicting serious damage.

"The placement of an explosive device in a crowded public area is horrific at any time, but this attack, planned to occur during an event celebrating the bonds of our community, make it all the more reprehensible," said Laura M. Laughlin, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI Seattle office.

Harpham, a suspected white supremacist and former Fort Lewis soldier, was arrested at his Colville, Wash., home on March 9 and charged in the attempted terrorist attack.

"Today's guilty plea highlights the threat posed by hate-motivated violence. I applaud the federal, state, and local officials who work tirelessly to identify, confront and defeat such threats, including the law enforcement officials who are responsible for the outstanding investigation in this case," said Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

A plea agreement calls for Harpham to serve between 27 and 32 years in a federal prison.

"The plea agreement also calls for a lifetime term of court supervision after Harpham is released from prison," the DOJ said in a statement.