OSHAWA -- A 17-year-old boy set up an explosives manufacturing centre in his bedroom by using information on bombs garnered on the Internet, police say.
"There was enough (explosive material) to have destroyed the house and possibly killed anyone in close proximity", Det. Jim Grimley of Durham Regional Police said yesterday.
The teen was arrested Sunday night after a raid at his family's townhouse turned up explosive chemicals and detonators.
Grimley said police also seized a novel on the infamous Unabomber and a video of the movie The Specialist, in which actor Sylvester Stallone portrays an explosives expert.
"The bedroom was set up strictly for the making of bombs", Grimley said. "Mom and dad thought they should give him space and didn't go into his room."
Acting on a tip, police executed a search warrant and found plastic explosives stored just a foot away from homemade detonators. Grimley said a static charge -- from something like a vacuum cleaner -- could have triggered a blast.
The police explosives disposal unit was called to remove evidence, including a highly volatile white powder called Hexamethyllinetriperoxcide Diamine.
"You don't buy that stuff anywhere. You have to make it", Grimley said. "Here's a kid getting all this information from the Internet. He goes out and buys everyday chemicals and, because of that information, he's able to build bombs."
Detectives seized paraphernalia and a personal computer containing detailed information on how to construct bombs.
"He's claiming this is a hobby, but investigators seem to feel it's an obsession", Grimley added. "It's also a warning to parents to be discerning about what their children are getting on the Internet."
Neighbors at the Wilson-Rossland Rds. townhouse complex were alarmed to learn of the police discovery.
"I'm astonished", Robert Carroll, 65, said. "We lived in Montreal during the FLQ days and we haven't heard of anything like that since. Somebody's got to do something about that Internet."
Police suspect the teen already may have detonated one homemade bomb in a field near his home. The youth, who cannot be identified, is charged with possession of explosives.