Courtesy of CNN and news reports
The FBI is investigating an explosion outside the office of NAACP chapter in Colorado.
A makeshift bomb, or improvised explosive device, detonated last Tuesday morning but failed to ignite a gasoline can placed alongside it. No one was injured, but the incident left some shaken in Colorado Springs.
“All of a sudden I heard this big boom,” one witness said. “There was smoke everywhere; the building on the side was burnt.”
The witness continued: “Whoever did it took off right away though. That’s all I heard, and it was scary.”
The FBI’s Denver office said it’s looking for a balding man, about 40, who was seen leaving the scene in a white pickup with a missing or covered license plate.
Another witness, Julie Skufca, who saw a man drive away calmly.
“(It) kind of made your heart stop, especially when you have kids,” she said.
“He was a heavier white man with what looked like a (Carhartt jacket),” she added. “Just driving normal like it was a normal day.”
The FBI has not said if the NAACP was targeted. But some pointed out that the other building tenant, Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios, likely was not.
“Who would want to bomb a beauty salon?” one member of the local NAACP chapter said.
Henry D. Allen Jr., the branch’s president, also raised the specter of a targeted attack, saying, “Apparently, we’re doing something correct. Apparently, we have gotten someone’s attention that we are working toward civil rights for all. That is making some people uncomfortable.”
The NAACP is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The group’s national office says it is looking forward to a “thorough investigation” into the explosion by national and local authorities.
“We’re looking at all possible motives, not just specifically that the NAACP was targeted, although that is one possible motive,” said FBI Special Agent Amy Sanders, who noted that there was both a barbershop and tax services office nearby. “There could be any number of reasons.”