UK teens accused of plotting school massacre


Cell phone footage shown to a jury at the Manchester Crown Court in northern England appeared to show Matthew Swift, 18, and his 16-year-old friend Ross McKnight exploding a homemade pipe bomb. Other clips allegedly show the pair experimenting with a Molotov cocktail and a firework.

Both are charged with planning to bomb a shopping centre before going on a rampage at their school on the 10th anniversary of the April 1999 massacre in Colorado. Prosecutor Peter Wright on Friday said they modelled themselves on Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School before committing suicide.
The teens deny the allegation. Police failed to find any explosives, although Wright on Friday said a search of Swift’s apartment turned up Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries, a novel popular with white supremacists. The police also found two films about school shootings: ‘Elephant’ and ‘Zero Day’.

On Friday, Swift’s friend Alice Adshead, 18, told the jury that the teen once told her he wanted to “torch” their school.
“He wanted to torch it. His words would be quite violent, he wanted to burn it down or break windows,” she said.

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