YAPHANK, N.Y. – Two teenagers were charged with conspiring to attack a Long Island high school on the anniversary of the Columbine attacks after a chilling journal and videotape surfaced in which one teen identifies several potential victims by name, authorities said Friday.
"I will start a chain of terrorism in the world," a 15-year-old suspected of planning the assault allegedly wrote in the journal, which led to his arrest. "This will go down in history. Take out everyone there. Perfecto."
Both teens were charged with misdemeanor conspiracy, punishable by up to a year in jail. The 15-year-old was scheduled to appear in juvenile court Friday; the second suspect, 17-year-old Michael McDonough, pleaded not guilty.
Authorities said the two suspects, co-workers at a suburban McDonald's, targeted scores of students in an attack they planned for April 20, 2008 — the ninth anniversary of the Columbine High School rampage, where 12 students and a teacher were killed in Littleton, Colo.
The two teens planned to attack Connetquot High School in Bohemia, about 50 miles east of New York City, Dormer said. The 15-year-old was the driving force behind the plan, authorities said, and was recently suspended for making threats of violence.
On July 6, school authorities obtained a handwritten journal that contained "numerous terrorist threats and plans to attack the school on a future date," police said. The journal was turned over to the school after the 15-year-old dropped it in the McDonald's parking lot, Dormer said.
"He felt that everyone was against him," Dormer said of the 15-year-old, whose name was withheld due to his age. "The world was against him. He was upset at life in general and the world in general."
Police found that the teen who penned the journal had already tried several times to buy weapons online, including five pounds of explosive black powder and an Uzi. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said Friday that officers were still trying to determine "if any weapons have been acquired over the Internet."
Neighbors in the mobile home park where McDonough lives described him as a "nice boy" who did odd jobs for them such as mowing lawns. His father told the court that McDonough, who attended Sachem North High School, was receiving mental health counseling.
A woman who answered the telephone Friday at the county's Legal Aid, which is representing McDonough, declined comment and hung up.
More than 2,000 students attend Connetquot High School, a working-class community near Brookhaven on the eastern end of Long Island.