Twin brothers, including a former teacher who paid students to extract gunpowder from fireworks, were arrested Thursday by the FBI on charges of attempting to manufacture explosives, according to reports by NBC New York and ABC News.
Christian and Tyler Toro, both 28, had been stockpiling bombmaking materials since last fall, authorities charge in a federal criminal complaint. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and New York police plan to announce charges at 8 p.m.
Christian Toro taught at a high school in Harlem but resigned shortly after a student called in a Dec. 4 bomb threat. Tyler Toro then returned his brother’s school-issued laptop, and a technician found a book about explosives on the computer. Authorities were alerted, but Christian Toro told them he hadn’t meant to download the manual and that he had discovered it while researching the Boston Marathon bombing.
The FBI spoke with several students at the school Wednesday and discovered that Toro had paid at least two of them $50 an hour to dismantle fireworks and retain the gunpowder, the complaint states.
On Thursday, authorities said they searched Toro’s apartment and found bombmaking materials, including 20 pounds of iron oxide, 5 pounds of aluminum powder, 5 pounds of potassium nitrate, 2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar, a jar of black explosive powder, firecrackers and metal spheres that could be used as projectiles. FBI agents also found a diary that appeared to belong to Tyler Toro containing passages such as, “We are twin Toros strike us now, we will return with nano thermite.” Agents also found a yellow backpack, according to the complaint, with an index card and the words “Under the full moon the small ones will know terror” handwritten on it.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Keith McMillan