A teenager from Maine who was found to be in possession of homemade explosive was allegedly plotting to bomb Chicago area places of worship, including synagogues.
According to ABC7 Chicago, Xavier Pelkey, 18, was arrested by police on February 11 at his home in Waterville, Maine. Police said that he planned to attack synagogues and mosques. He was charged with having unregistered explosive devices after police raided his apartment.
During the search, police found homemade explosives that were rigged to go off, along with fireworks that were taped into bundles.
Inside the bundles they discovered sharp metal objects, including staples, thumb tacks and pins, CBS Chicago reported.
Court documents said that the teen told investigators he had taped the fireworks so that they would make a “bigger boom.”
Prosecutors alleged that Pelkey attempted to enlist two young people to help him carry out his plan, speaking to them on Instagram. They noted that one of the young people "described a plot... that involved going to a mosque in Chicago and committing, frankly, mass murder ...potentially moving on to another mosque or synagogue and doing the same thing and then ultimately culminating in being shot by police."
An FBA bomb technician examining the explosives concluded that they were built in order to maximize the amount of shrapnel released upon detonation.