Three 13-year-old boys who got their bomb-making know-how off the Internet were caught before they could explode a homemade fertilizer bomb in their junior high school, police said.
The boys had planned to break into Pine Grove Junior High School on Saturday, when it's empty, and set off the device in the school's office, said police Capt. William Bleyle of the town of Manlius.The boys had also built a test bomb that burned but didn't explode behind the Minoa Elementary School, police said. No clear motive has emerged.
Police uncovered the plot after getting tips from other students and finding a small amount of diesel fuel, fertilizer and other bomb-making materials at one boy's house in this Syracuse suburb.
Similar components were used in the bomb that blew up the Oklahoma City federal building last April, killing 169 people.
"These kids appeared to be just dabbling in it and very early in experimentation," Bleyle said, adding that it's not clear whether the bomb would have exploded or just started a fire.
The boys, whose names were withheld because of their age, were arrested Thursday and charged as juveniles with conspiracy to commit criminal mischief. They were released to their parents.
The boys told police that they got the plans on how to make the bombs off the Internet.