FBI Investigating Explosion At NAACP Office In Colorado

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Staff members at a Colorado NAACP office say they are waiting for more information before drawing conclusions about an explosion near their chapter, even as the FBI investigates whether the blast was domestic terrorism.

"We're standing vigilant and are trying not to let this disrupt anything," Colorado Springs NAACP volunteer Harry Leroy said Wednesday, a day after someone set off a homemade explosive device outside the group's building, about an hour south of Denver.

The FBI said it had not determined whether the nation's oldest civil rights organization was targeted.

"We're exploring any potential motive, and domestic terrorism is certainly one among many possibilities," Denver FBI spokeswoman Amy Sanders said.

An improvised explosive device was detonated about 11 a.m. Tuesday outside a barbershop that shares a building with the NAACP chapter, but a gasoline canister placed next to the device failed to ignite. There were no injuries and only minor damage to the low-slung building, which sits in a mostly residential neighborhood.

Speculation swept across social media about whether the explosion was a hate crime. Investigators have not ruled out any possibilities, and members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating because of the explosion's proximity to the NAACP office, Sanders said.

Investigators apparently have few leads. They are looking for a person of interest - a balding white man in his 40s who might be driving a dirty pickup truck.

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Ben Markus, of Colorado Public Radio, about the possible act of terror.


This segment aired on January 8, 2015.


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