BRONX, New York - A former teacher and his twin brother have been arrested in New York City in connection with an investigation in which bomb-making materials were recovered, authorities said.
FBI agents and NYPD officers arrested Tyler Toro and Christian Toro, 27, in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx Thursday morning.
The two appeared before a federal judge in Lower Manhattan where they were arraigned on federal explosives-related charges.
According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officials have been monitoring Christian Toro's activities for months and decided to move in Thursday in the wake of recent events.
Inside the brothers' Bronx apartment, investigators found low-level components that could be used to make a crude explosive device.
Christian Toro was a teacher at Democracy Prep in Harlem. On January 9th, Toro resigned after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Jeffrey Schneider, a spokesman for Democracy Prep released a statement Thursday night saying,
"Mr. Toro had worked for Democracy Prep Public Schools since August 2016. He did not return to work after December 21, 2017 and officially resigned from Democracy Prep Harlem High School January 9, 2018. After he resigned, Democracy Prep did a routine review of his laptop and was deeply disturbed by suspicious content. We immediately notified law enforcement of the content on Mr. Toro's laptop. We have been cooperating with the New York Police Department and the FBI since the beginning of their investigation and will continue to cooperate with authorities and provide any information we can. Any further questions should be directed to the NYPD and the FBI as this is an ongoing investigation."
Court papers allege that when his brother, Tyler Toro, returned Christian's school-issued laptop, the school found he had searched about bomb making. Christian claimed he was researching the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
The FBI went to the charter school to talk to students and discovered he paid some of them $50 an hour to take apart fireworks and recover the powder.
Officials held a press conference about the plot on Thursday night:
Officials give update on NYC brothers arrested in terror investigation
During their search of Toro's apartment Thursday, agents found materials that could be used to make a crude bomb, as well as writings in a notebook that said, in part:
"When you find out I threw away all evidence (of operation code name) 'Flash' I could find in your room, I hope this doesn't turn into a scene from 'Goodfellas'"
"We are twin Toros strike us now, we will return with nano thermite"
In a yellow backpack, investigators found a purple index card with "Under the full moon the small ones will know terror" written on it.
Since Christian Toro had a Jan. 31 arrest for allegedly having sex with a minor, there was this in the notebook:
"If you're registered as a sex offender, things will be difficult. But I am here 100% living, buying weapons. Whatever we need."
What they intended to do with the bomb is not clear.
Authorities said there is no current or active threat.
Neighbors in the Bronx building where the two live said Tyler and Christian Toro are polite and keep to themselves.
"I had no idea, now that concerns me because there are people that may look shady to me on this block and they didn't, you see how it goes, right?" a neighbor said.
Christian Toro is also facing charges for that inappropriate relationship with a student.
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