By ROBBIE BROWN
Published: January 7, 2013
ATLANTA — An Alabama teenager was charged on Monday with plotting to set off dozens of homemade bombs and grenades in an attack that the police said might have been inspired by the massacre last month in Newtown, Conn.
The authorities in eastern Alabama said that Derek Shrout, 17, made explosives using chewing-tobacco cans and metal pellets and planned to detonate them at his high school in the small town of Seale.
A journal found by a teacher last week contained handwritten plans to target teachers and students, especially African-Americans. The first entry was dated Dec. 17, three days after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
In interviews with the police, Mr. Shrout described himself as a white supremacist, the authorities said.
Sheriff Heath Taylor of Russell County said Mr. Shrout had been “just a couple steps away from having usable grenades.” The police searched his house and discovered tobacco cans filled with explosives and two larger cans with the words “Fat Boy” and “Little Man,” an apparent reference to Fat Man and Little Boy, the code names for the atomic bombs dropped on Japan.
Derek Shrout pictured above
The teacher who found Mr. Shrout’s journal turned it over to the police, who interviewed Mr. Shrout and a friend and searched his parents’ house. The friend was not charged.
The authorities said they found many of the weapons the teenager had apparently planned to use in the attack, including shotguns and rifles owned by his father. Other materials described in the journal, including gun powder, butane and fuses, were not located.
“He was extremely close to something very dangerous,” Sheriff Taylor said. “It could have easily happened tomorrow had we not found this journal.”
A lawyer for Mr. Shrout declined to comment. Judge David Johnson of Russell County Circuit Court set bail at $75,000.
By ROBBIE BROWN