Kevin William Harpham, the alleged Martin Luther King Day bomber who was arrested yesterday, was deeply involved in the white supremacist movement and once fantasized about killing anti-racists.
The Army veteran posted his thoughts, in fact, more than 1,000 times on the racist and anti-Semitic internet forum Vanguard News Network (VNN) since 2004.
"I can't wait till the day I snap," Harpham wrote under the pseudonym "Joe Snuffy" in a 2006 message. Harpham was responding to a post about German anti-racists protesting white supremacists. The post claimed the police cared only about the anti-racists and "turned their loaded guns on the neo-Nazis."
"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 also showed a deep interest in bombs. "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 2006. In a 2010 VNN discussion of thorium, a slightly radioactive element sometimes used in nuclear reactors, Harpham mentioned "its uselessness in building bombs," indicating some real knowledge of explosives.
In 2004, Harpham signed on as a member of the National Alliance, for years the most prominent neo-Nazi organization in the United States.The year after he joined the NA, in 2005, Harpham participated in a VNN thread devoted to The Turner Diaries, the race war novel written by the founder and leader of the National Alliance, William Pierce (Pierce died in 2002). The novel inspired Timothy McVeigh's attack on the Oklahoma federal building in 1995, and pages of it were found in McVeigh's car when he was arrested. That bombing killed 168 men, women and children.
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."
Besides the National Alliance, Harpham was a contributor to the white nationalist newspaper, The Aryan Alternative, published by longtime white supremacist Glenn Miller. Miller, who was the head of the White Patriot Party in the 1980s and before that of the Carolina Knights of the KKK, was convicted of contempt of court in a federal civil case (filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center) for raising a paramilitary army and using explosives. After the conviction, he 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.
Thanking Harpham for supporting his newspaper, Miller wrote in 2007 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."
KXLY in Spokane also reported today that Harpham had expressed interest in the mid-2000s in joining the Aryan Nations, long a major neo-Nazi group in Idaho until the group lost its compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho, as the result of another SPLC lawsuit.
David Holthouse at Media Matters disclosed yesterday that Harpham had offered to house Craig Cobb, a longtime neo-Nazi now on the run from hate crimes charges in Canada and an advocate of "lone wolf" violence. The offer was made just 10 days after Harpham's last post on VNN, on Jan. 16, which was also the day before the attempted bombing. Cobb created the virulently racist and anti-Semitic website Podblanc in 2007, which encourages hate crime murders of non-whites and Jews. It 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.
"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 [your home] Kalispell [Montana]." Cobb replied that there was a "small chance" he'd take Harpham up on his offer.