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Florida teen planned school bomb attack, say police

The former student allegedly threatened to plant a bomb at the Tampa school and detonate it on the first day of the new term.

Tampa Police photo of Jared Michael Cano.
Tampa Police photo of Jared Michael Cano.
Image: Tampa Police

POLICE IN TAMPA, Florida, have arrested a 17-year-old on suspicion of planning a bomb attack on his former school.

Expelled student Jared Cano allegedly threatened to plant a device at the Freedom High School in Tampa and detonate it on the first day of the new term next week. Police arrested him after receiving a tip-off.

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said that police and the school had thwarted “a potentially catastrophic event”. Castor said police had found a written minute-by-minute account which included plans to cause more deaths than the 1999 Columbine shooting in which 15 people, including the two attackers, died.

In a statement, the authorities said that the alleged attack “targeted specific administrators as well as any students nearby” but did not identify who those people are.

Police said they recovered materials which could be used to produce pipe bombs at his home yesterday evening.

A spokeswoman for the area’s schools said that Cano was expelled in April last year because of an incident off-campus that was not related to school.

The teenager faces charges of threatening to throw or discharge a destructive device and of possessing bomb-making materials. Tampa police said that the Florida State Attorney’s office will determine if Cano should be charged as an adult.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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