A Utah teenager was arrested after he left a backpack inside Pine View High School that contained a homemade explosive device on Tuesday. Alert students saw the smoking backpack and notified school authorities. When Police searched the teen’s home they found an ISIS flag and materials in support of the terror organization. Police do not believe he was actually a member of the group.
St George News reported,
“After examining the device, bomb squad members indicated that if it had detonated; the device had the potential to cause significant injury or death,” the St. George Police said in a statement.
The backpack was left in the cafeteria of the high school during lunch where some students noticed it smoking. They alerted the resident school resource officer and faculty, which led to the school’s 1,100 students being evacuated to the football field for the rest of the school day.
The St. George Police brought in the regional bomb squad, operated out of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, to deal with the explosive device, as well as the FBI. Sheriff’s deputies handled traffic around the school and Jax, a bomb-sniffing K-9, was also brought in from Dixie Regional Medical Center.
Officials found evidence at the home that linked this teen to an incident last month at Hurricane High School in which the flag was replaced with an ISIS one and the words “ISIS is comi” were spray painted on the walls of the school. He had been researching information on ISIS and expressing an interest in promoting the group.
Screenshot of Hurricane Police Photo via St George’s News
The teen is charged with the attempted bombing at Pine View High School, a felony under Utah law. Other charges are pending, including the incident at Hurricane High School. He is currently in the juvenile detention center awaiting adjudication.
“There were several factors that came into play yesterday which led to a positive outcome. First, we’d like to recognize and thank the students who notified faculty and the [school resource officer] of the suspicious backpack. Their immediate action played a large role in this incident ending with no injuries.” Police spokesperson