The New York Times reported Thursday evening that a former Harlem high school teacher and his brother were arrested after a federal investigation into the two indicated an apparent effort to build and detonate explosive devices. The teacher, Christian Toro, reportedly paid his students $50 an hour to break fireworks and save the powder stored inside of them.
According to an NBC report, Christian and his brother, Tyler Toro, kept 30 pounds’ worth of “bomb-making materials” in the closet of a Bronx apartment they share together. Those included potassium nitrate, aluminum powder, iron oxide, confectioners’ sugar, and a bag of metal balls, which were intended for use as shrapnel in an explosive device.
NBC also reported that the brothers had been gathering materials to make the explosives since October.
From the Times:
The complaint said that a diary found in the apartment contained writing that referred to the brothers as “Twin Toros.” “Strike us now,” they wrote, “we will return with nano-thermite.”
Law enforcement agents who searched the apartment on Wednesday found a yellow backpack that contained a purple index card with the handwritten words: “Under the full moon the small ones will know terror.”
The investigation reportedly began when Christian Toro resigned from his job at the high school; his brother returned the school-issued laptop, which contained an instruction manual for how to make homemade explosives.
Christian Toro was also arrested and charged on Jan. 31 with raping a minor.
Thursday evening, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was “no imminent threat to New York City at this time.”