crimesider

High schooler's bomb plot targeted students, teacher, say Ala. cops

(CBS/AP) SEALE, Ala. - A high school student in southeast Alabama is behind bars for an alleged plot to attack students and a teacher with bombs, CBS affiliate WRBL reports.

Authorities said 17-year-old Derek Shrout was arrested Friday after a teacher at Russell County High School found a journal the teen left in class, which allegedly contained a detailed account of making bombs.

Sheriff's officials say five of the six students targeted by Shrout are black, and that the teen admitted to being a white supremacist.

He's accused of writing terroristic threats and making bombs.

Sheriff's deputies say they discovered the bombs in progress at Shrout's home. Sheriff Heath Taylor says, "The first thing I wanted to know was if you did exactly what he wrote, would it blow up? And everybody that I've consulted with has said that it would absolutely blow up exactly the way he wrote it."

Acccording to WRBL, officers found holes drilled into 25 tobacco cans and two larger tins, all of which held pellets similar to BB's. The other necessary ingredients, black powder, butane and fuses, were absent.

"These devices, explosive devices, were a step or two away from being ready to explode," says the sheriff.

During an interrogation, Shrout claimed the journal was fictitious, but consent from his parents resulted in a search of his home and confiscation of the bomb materials.

Sheriff Taylor says the journal entries appear to start Dec. 17th, just three days after the Newtown shootings. He says the incident probably inspired Shrout to take action. "That was potentially the spark that started him writing things down in a plan," says Sheriff Taylor.

Shrout was being held in the Russell County jail. He'll be tried as an adult for a Class B felony and faces two to 20 years in prison, WRBL reports.

Investigators say Shrout admitted to learning how to make the bombs by researching it on the Internet.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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