Police in Altoona, Pennsylvania charged a Russian-born engineering student at Penn State University with possessing a weapon of mass destruction Sunday, after a routine drug bust turned up something much more dangerous.
"Police say they found a homemade bomb and possible bomb-making materials in his apartment on Friday. Police were investigating a possible marijuana growing operation when they found fuses attached to aluminum and plastic containers." (Via WPXI)
The Altoona Mirror reports bomb squad personnel safely deconstructed Vladislav Miftakhov's suspected bomb and seized other potential bomb-making materials, which the student claimed he ordered over the internet. The paper notes Miftakhov "experimented with similar devices in California" where his parents currently live.
One of Miftakhov's apartment mates described him as dangerous to WTAJ, and said he had a fascination with explosives.
"He could have killed me, or he could have killed one of my roommates. He's not a trained bomb professional and he's playing with unstable chemicals. ... I'm hoping for the best for him, but I really hope I never see him again, because he's a dangerous kid."
The story is getting some buzz in Miftakhov's native Russia as well. Ria Novosti implies Miftakhov's case bears some resemblance to that of the Boston Bombing suspects, though Miftakhov "has not been implicated in terrorism involvement."
Miftakhov is currently in jail on $500,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 5.