Twin brothers are facing charges after police discover explosive building materials in their apartment, and a plot to recruit teens to help them build a bomb.
Christian and Tyler Toro, 27, were arrested by authorities Thursday in a joint bust by FBI and the NYPD after a search of their Bronx apartment turned up several dangerous chemicals along with a “diary” with disturbing notes. According to a complaint, the twins were using the gunpowder from fireworks as the basis for their bombs and had several pounds of iron oxide and aluminum powder, which combine to create thermite, reported the NY Post.
The notes included messages like “We are twin toros strike us now,” “We will return with nano thermite,” and “under the full moon the small ones will know terror.” In the criminal complaint filed in court, the Toro brothers were researching the Boston Marathon bombings and were paying teens as a labor force.
Christian, a former teacher at Harlem Prep school, offered to pay students $50 an hour to “break apart fireworks and store the powder that came out of the fireworks in containers.” At least two teens agreed to work for the brothers, reportedly visiting their apartment “between in or around October 2017 and in or around early January 2018.”
The FBI began an investigation into a bomb threat at the school where Christian taught. After administrators tipped off police about coming across information showing how to build explosives on his computer, Christian came under scrutiny before ultimately being discovered.
According to the NY Post, Christian was having a sexual relationship with a female student who was arrested for making the threats against the school, after which he resigned. Investigators uncovered the plots after speaking with students at the school.
“Information from citizens stopped a significant threat to public safety,” said FBI New York division assistant director Bill Sweeney. “We have no indication that there is any additional threat from these individuals.”
Both brothers are facing federal bomb-making charges while the former teacher is also looking at charges for distributing explosive materials to a minor. Christian Toros was previously arrested on Jan. 31 for allegedly raping a 15-year-old student. According to Post insiders, the student was the same one who made the threats against the school.
Neighbors of the Toros brothers were shocked after the arrest, noting that they kept out of trouble.
“The mom used to tell me she was so proud of them,” said Maria Torres who lived near the twins. “They were her pride and joy. She told me one of them became a school teacher, and the other was traveling. Recently, one of them shaved their heads and grew a beard — but you don’t think anything of it.”
Torres continued, “I think their mom did a great job raising them. They went to college, they worked, they were always so polite, to me at least.”