Teen With Homemade Explosives Allegedly Discussed Bombing Houses Of Worship

Federal officials said that an 18-year-old from Maine who was arrested a few weeks ago had discussed plans to attack mosques and synagogues in Chicago.

Xavier Pelkey was arrested by FBI agents after a search of his home turned up three homemade explosive devices. The bombs were made of fireworks that were taped to gather with metal staples packed inside.

“I asked him why the fireworks were taped together, and he said he wanted to make a ‘bigger boom,'” an agent wrote in the affidavit.

Speaking during a remote detention hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wolff said that the Pelkey had been in contact with two juveniles about plans to “commit mass murder” at a mosque in Chicago. During the conversations, Pelkey also suggested he would stage a second attack at another mosque or synagogue and planned to die in a shootout with police officers.

Federal Magistrate Judge John C. Nivison ruled that Pelkey will be held without bail until his trial on charges of possession of unregistered destructive devices. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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