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FBI offers reward in NAACP bombing investigation

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the explosion outside a Colorado NAACP office.
Colorado Springs police officers investigate the scene of an explosion on Jan. 6, 2015, at a building in Colorado, which houses a barber shop and the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Colorado Springs police officers investigate the scene of an explosion on Jan. 6, 2015, at a building in Colorado Springs, Colo. Authorities are investigating whether a homemade explosive set off outside the building that houses a barber shop and the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP was aimed at the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

On Friday, the FBI announced that it will offer a $10,000 reward for anyone who has information that could help them in the investigation of a bombing incident near the NAACP offices in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

On Tuesday last week, an explosive was detonated outside of the building that houses the local NAACP chapter in Colorado Springs. According to the FBI, the explosive was detonated near a gas can that did not ignite, thereby minimizing the potential damage that could have been done. The blast left singe marks on the NAACP building and the building of a hair salon next door. No one was injured. 

A sketch of a man possibly linked to a homemade bomb that exploded behind NAACP offices in central Colorado earlier this week is seen in this image provided by the FBI, Jan. 9, 2015.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been investigating the incident along with local authorities. In a Friday press conference, the FBI announced a $10,000 reward for anyone who had information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible. In a press release, the FBI released a sketch of the suspect, described as “a white male, approximately 40 years of age, and balding or having shortly cropped hair.” They identified his vehicle as a white pick-up truck, mid-2000 model, with “possible paneling or railing, a dark colored bed liner, an open or missing tailgate, and a missing or covered license plate.” Anyone with information regarding the suspect was encouraged to call the FBI Denver tip line.

It remains unclear whether the attack was deliberately targeted at the NAACP. Henry Allen, president of the Colorado Springs chapter, told msnbc: “I don’t want to say right now whether our organization was targeted or whether myself or the other business was targeted. I just don’t want to speculate. This is too important of an investigation. I don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to capitalize on this unfortunate situation if some things may not be true.” 

After the attack, Twitter users began discussing the story using the hashtag #NAACPbombing, which quickly went viral on Twitter around the United States. To date, the hashtag has been mentioned over 268,000 times and was a nationwide trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday and Wednesday. Congressman John Lewis, a veteran of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, said on Twitter: “I am deeply troubled by the bombing in Colorado. It reminds me of another period.”