What to Know
- Christian Toro, a former teacher at a Harlem high school, was trying to build bombs with his brother in their apartment, authorities say
- They paid students at Christian Toro's Harlem school $50 an hour to break down fireworks and collect powder from them, the complaint says
- The inquiry began when Christian Toro resigned from the school and his brother returned a school laptop with a bomb-making manual on it
The New York City teacher and brother who were arrested earlier this year by the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force have pleaded guilty to explosives charges in Manhattan federal court.
Christian Toro, 28, a former high school teacher in Harlem, and his brother, Tyler Toro, 28, entered guilty pleas on charges of manufacturing and possessing a destructive device and conspiracy charges, prosecutors say.
The brothers were arrested in February after authorities found a bomb-making manual on Christian Toro’s laptop, 30 pounds of chemicals and household materials used to create explosives in their apartment. Authorities also found a diary that referenced “operation flash” and a handwritten note that said “under the full moon the small ones will know terror.”
Federal authorities said at the time of the arrests, the pair had been compiling the materials for several months but had not made any specific threats, completed any devices or chosen any targets.
Tyler Toro returned Christian Toro’s school-issued laptop following Christian’s resignation from the school in December 2017 in a separate case. A technical specialist at the school found a copy of a book providing instructions on how to assemble bombs causing school officials to notify the authorities.
“As admitted in court today, Christian Toro and Tyler Toro sought to build a destructive device that could have caused great damage,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.
Both men are scheduled to be sentenced next March.