A 15-year-old Batavia High School student arrested shortly before Thanksgiving after bomb-making materials and other explosive compounds were found in his bedroom at his parents' house told authorities he planned to detonate the devices on rural land along the Mississippi River.
A science supply store notified the FBI of suspicious purchases, and federal authorities worked with Batavia police and the Kane County Bomb squad in a Nov. 26 search of the teen's parents' house in the 1100 block of Davey Drive, the teen's bedroom laboratory, computer and cellphone, according to a recently unsealed search warrant.
The teen, who is identified only by his initials in court records, researched the 1999 Columbine school shooting and was searching the building blueprints of Batavia High School, according to the search warrant. The FBI also did a precursory social media check on the teen and found "suspicious accounts that were suspected to be related to anti-Semitism/Nazi/Hitler."
The teen's defense attorney, Gary Johnson, had no comment on the case Monday.
In the bedroom search, authorities found: "highly volatile, explosive, and flammable homemade chemistry experiments specifically used in bomb-making;" sodium azide, a compound used in vehicle air bags and bombs; thermite, which is used in improvised hand grenades; PVC piping with small "wick-sized" holes cut into the end of three pipes; high and low voltage electronics and switches used to detonate bombs; lab equipment and numerous chemicals and compounds used to make bombs.
Authorities questioned the student, who has dual U.S. and German citizenship, when he came home from school. According to the warrant, the teen admitted to experiments in his room to make bombs, which "he intended to ignite in rural areas and/or on a rural property near the Mississippi River that his parents were going to purchase," according to the warrant.
FBI bomb experts said the student had an "extremely high level of knowledge" about chemistry and bomb-making. When asked about the social media accounts, the student said his anti-Semitic/Nazi/Hitler user names were part of "jokes" with his friends.
In the teen's car, authorities also found a Nov. 23 receipt for ball bearings, which can be used as shrapnel in homemade bombs, from a store in West Chicago.
The teen was taken to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield for an evaluation and he is being held at the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center in St. Charles.
On Nov, 27, the day after his arrest, a browser history on the teen's computer showed he had researched architectural blueprints and floor plans for Batavia High School and other public buildings, the Columbine shooting, gun simulators, the Hiroshima bomb and information about the high school's student resource officer, according to the warrant.
Police also searched the high school for explosives. None were found and no one was injured.
At a recent court appearance, the teen was ordered to undergo an psychological evaluation at the Kane County Diagnostic Center. He is due back in court Jan. 8.