ABC's Alexander Marquardt reports from Moscow:
While most teenagers spend August at summer camp or hanging out with their friends before school starts, one Russian teen decided to instead buy bomb-making materials for improvised explosives to be placed around Moscow.
The 16 year-old neo-Nazi was arrested today in Moscow on charges that he was going to bomb a park’s World War II memorial as well as several other crowded locations around the Russian capital.
The branch of Russia’s Interior Ministry that fights extremism tells ABC News that they caught the teenager on his way to plant the explosives after receiving a phone tip. Russian news agency Interfax reports that he had bought bomb-making materials in the past week and was apprehended with two kilograms (4.4 lbs) of the explosive Ammonal along with Acetone Peroxide detonation, the two elements fashioned into homemade bombs.
The head of Moscow’s Investigations Committee also tells Interfax that the teen was responsible for two small blasts in the city in April and May.
Investigators who searched the young man’s apartment found CDs with information about past crimes, including the burning of a Moscow Orthodox church. The search also turned up extremist literature and leaflets.
The authorities wouldn’t divulge the 16 year-old’s name or the group he is a part of but said that they believe he was acting alone and not on behalf of the organization. They add that his motives were vague, simply to cause panic.
Membership in nationalistic organizations like neo-Nazi groups has spiked in Russia in recent years. Attacks on minorities have been a fairly regular occurrence in the first half of 2009. At the beginning of August, 39 people had been killed in xenophobic attacks while 191 had been injured, according to the Moscow-based SOVA human rights group.