Tampa Student Arrested in Alleged School Bomb Plot

Tampa Police say they have thwarted a student's "catastrophic" plot to blow up a school on the first day of classes.

Police Chief Jane Castor says a 17-year-old expelled student, had threatened to plant a device at Freedom High School.

Authorities say they were alerted about the alleged plot by an individual with knowledge about the plans.

On Tuesday evening, the suspect's mother consented to a search of their home. Police found a journal and materials to make pipe bombs, including a fuel source, shrapnel, plastic tubing and timing and fusing devices. Police also found a manifesto that illustrated a minute-by-minute timeline of what he planned to do the first day of school, Castor said.

Officials say the journal contained schematic drawings of rooms inside the school and disturbing statements about his intent to kill.

The suspect targeted administrators he blamed for his troubles, and regarding student casualties, he allegedly "just wanted to do something that was more spectacular than Columbine."

There is no indication of anyone else involved, Castor said. They also found a marijuana growing operation at the location.

Authorities said the teen has multiple juvenile arrests. Charges have included burglary, carrying a concealed weapon, altering serial numbers on a firearm and drug possession. All have been either dismissed or no action has been taken.

The St. Petersburg Times reported that prosecutors, at a hearing Wednesday morning, said that when he was arrested he repeated his plan to discharge a bomb and cause mass casualties at the school.

The Times reported that he tried to speak when he appeared before a judge Wednesday morning but was quickly hushed by a public defender standing next to him.

"The plot wasn't..." he said, before the public defender stopped him and told the judge that "he has no comment," according to the Times.

His Facebook page includes photos of him holding a machete and drinking from a bottle of malt liquor. He says he attends the "University of Marijuana," where he is studying "how to grow weed."

He lists "lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten" as one of his favorite quotes.

He faces felony charges of possessing bomb-making materials, cultivating marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possessing of marijuana and threatening to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.