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Bombs in teen bedroom: How Columbine copycat plot was foiled (+video)

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A 17-year-old student in Albany, Ore., built several bombs and had a detailed plan – including checklists and diagrams – as part of a Columbine-style plot to attack West Albany High School, a local prosecutor says.

No motive has yet been made public, but Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said authorities on Friday found six kinds of explosives – including napalm bombs, pipe bombs, drain-cleaner bombs, and Molotov cocktails – in "a secret compartment that had been created in the floorboards" of the teen's bedroom. The teen, Grant Acord, sought make his attack bigger than Columbine, Mr. Haroldson said.

The alleged plot is just the latest example of how the Columbine massacre continues shape school safety 14 years later.

Not only does the plot suggest that would-be attackers continue to draw inspiration from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., before committing suicide on April 20, 1999. But it also points to how such plots have been repeatedly foiled.

Authorities say they received a tip. Albany police became suspicious after they "received information that associated ... Acord with manufacturing a destructive device with the intent of detonating it at a school," Haroldson said, according to a CNN report

With students more alert for signs of potential attacks post-Columbine, tips have been crucial to preventing more Columbines.

  • In 2001, A suspicious note passed along by a friend led police in Elmira, N.Y., to find a high-school senior in the cafeteria with a pistol, 18 bombs, and a sawed-off shotgun, according to media reports.
  • Three years later, a tip about an Internet chat in which a student said he was planning to attack his school led to a stash of found stolen weapons, an AK-47, and Nazi literature in the student's house in Clinton Township, Mich., reports say.
  • Tips also led to the discovery of Columbine-style plots in Tampa, Fla., in 2011, and in Utah last year.
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