As the eyes of the world were affixed to the ongoing terror threat in France, another act of terrorism was unfolding here in the United States. This attack was focused on the NAACP (an acronym for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), a historical organization founded in 1909 formed “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination,” according to the group’s mission statement.
On Tuesday, January 6, an NAACP building in Colorado Springs was bombed in an apparent act of domestic terrorism. Fortunately, no one was injured by the blast, although the building sustained damage.
Shortly after the bombing the FBI, ATF and local police converged on the area to search for who was responsible for the attack. After an initial investigation, the FBI announced they were seeking a suspect believed to be involved in the bombing and released a sketch of the suspect. According to the FBI’s description, the perpetrator is a white male in his mid 40s who was seen near the building prior to the explosion in a white pickup truck.
President of the Local NAACP chapter, Henry Allen Jr., commented in response to the attack, “Apparently we have the attention of someone that knows we are working for civil rights for all. That is making some people uncomfortable. So therefore they feel the need to target.”
Recently, the NAACP has played an active role in organizing nationwide protests against police brutality, particularly after the police homicide investigations into the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Gardner in New York.
On January 6, the national NAACP announced its support for a special prosecutor to convene another grand jury to investigate the shooting of Michael Brown. Despite the close time frame between the announcement and the bombing, it is still unknown if the events are related.
The alleged suspect in the case remains at large and the FBI and ATF are offering a $10,000 reward for any information that may lead to a break in the case.