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January 21, 2011

MLK Day Bomb Plot Demonstrates Increased Need To Examine All Forms of Extremism

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to recent media reports that a deadly terror attack was narrowly avoided at a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, WA, Monday, when three alert citizens noticed an unattended backpack that contained a sophisticated explosive device:

I commend the alertness of the citizens who detected this potentially deadly device and the prompt action of local law enforcement who re-routed the parade and defused the bomb.

Sadly, this incident has been all but ignored by the national media and the Congress. I am concerned that House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King has chosen to singularly focus on the threat posed by Islamic extremist groups. Failure to examine threats posed by homegrown ideologically-driven violent extremists may present a critical vulnerability to the security of the nation. I have called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to brief me and other interested Members on this latest terrorist incident and I will be asking Chairman King, once again, to expand the focus of his upcoming hearing on radicalization to include all forms of domestic terror threats, not simply those caused by Islamic extremists.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978