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Ex-Teacher and Twin Charged in Bomb Plot After Texting About The Las Vegas Shooter
An ex-teacher was arrested for plotting a bomb plot with his twin.
An ex-teacher and his twin brother in New York City have been arrested for plotting a bombing.
The arrest took place on February 15. Authorities found bomb making materials in the 28-year-old duo's apartment located in Pelham Parkway, including 20 pounds of iron oxide, 5 pounds of aluminum powder, 5 pounds of potassium nitrate, 2 pounds of confectioner's sugar and a jar of explosive powder and metal fragments.
According to prosecutor Elizabeth Hanft, the brothers had enough materials to “blow off a limb or body part."
“It’s used to make a bomb,” she said. “It’s not science project material.”
Toro's defense attorney, Amy Gallicchio, argued that authorities never found a bomb itself.
“There is not a bomb,” she said, per The Washington Post. “There is no plan, no plot, no sinister motive, no connection to subversive groups.”
The judge didn't agree with this assertion.
“There is no bomb. But what is alleged is that there are all the fixings of a bomb. Most evidence is almost always circumstantial and that doesn’t diminish its force," U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott said.
Aside from the materials, the two are accused of sharing messages in which they took ideas from the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock. Tyler is accused of writing to this brother that Paddock had a police radio when he fatally shot numerous people from his room at the Mandalay Bay hotel.
“We need to invest in one,” he wrote.
“Copy. I see a couple on Amazon,” the twin replied.
Last year, Paddock opened fire during a country music festival. He killed 58 people and injured hundreds more before pulling the trigger on himself.
In December, a student from Harlem High School called in a bomb threat, which tipped authorities off to this investigation. They found bomb making research on Christian's school-issued computer. Some students told authorities that he had also paid them $50 an hour to dismantle fireworks and extract the gunpowder. He resigned from the school in December.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said there is no evidence to suggest that there's an ongoing threat following the arrests. He said that the investigation is ongoing.
The former math teacher and his brother have been arrested the charges that they illegally manufactured a destructive device in a home. Authorities also found a handwritten note during their search which read: “Under the full moon the small ones will know terror.”
The two face federal bomb-making counts as NBC New York reports. Christian is also charged with distributing explosive materials to a minor.
They both pleaded not guilty.