A former teacher and his twin brother have been arrested for allegedly attempting to make bombs in their Bronx apartment to carry out a possible terror attack, and using students to assist them, police reported.
Christian Toro was a teacher at Democracy Prep Harlem Prep High School
Toro and his twin brother Tyler were both arrested and charged with unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and distribution of explosive materials to a minor, prosecutors said. Their apartment was packed with bomb making materials, Pix-11 reported.
The investigation began shortly after Toro resigned from his teaching job at the high school, after a student called in a bomb threat to the school.
After his resignation, Tyler Toro returned his brother’s work laptop to the school. There was a copy of the “Explosives Book” on the computer. A computer technician at the school noticed this alarming book title and reported it to authorities, who soon started the investigation into the former teacher.
Toro explained to police in an initial interview, that he accidently downloaded the book while researching the 2011 Boston Marathon terror attack.
Investigators soon after learned that several students have visited the twin brother’s apartment. They were paid $50 an hour to take apart fireworks and store the gun powder.
After obtaining a search warrant, agents discovered found a box in a bedroom closet with more than 30 pounds of chemical substances, which are all used in bomb making. Agents described the substances as ones used for making a crude bomb.
Authorities found 20 pounds of iron oxide, 5 pounds of aluminum powder, 5 pounds of potassium nitrate and 2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar, as well as a jar of explosive powder and metal fragment, N.Y Daily News reported.
Federal officials arrested Christian and Tyler Toro, 27, in an early morning raid last Thursday at their Pelham Parkway apartment in the Bronx.
In addition to the chemicals, they found notes and a diary referring to a plan called “Operation Code Name Flash”, John Miller, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism told the media at a press conference.
The ex-teacher was also recently busted for allegedly having a series of sexual encounters with a 15-year-old girl, according the N.Y Daily News. This arrest prompted the teacher’s twin brother to write in his diary: “Christian arrested…If you’re registered as a sex offender, things will be difficult. but I am here 100%, living, buying weapons. Whatever we need”
Mayor De Blasio stated in a press conference “from what we know at this point the individuals involved have all been apprehended, again, this is preliminary information, but there is no additional imminent threat directed at New York City at this time.”
Both siblings used to work at a Shake Shack restaurant, and studied at Stony Brook University, according to their Facebook pages, according to their facebook accounts. Their neighbors in the Bronx were stunned by the arrest as the brothers had a good reputation in the neighborhood.