Violence Threats Rise After German School Shooting
A 17-year-old was arrested at his school in Ennepetal in North Rhine-Westphalia over an alleged plot timed to coincide with Adolf Hitler's birthday and the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in the US on April 20th.
The boy was arrested after parents of children at the Reichenbach Gymnasium reported that he had told their children he was planning a massacre.
Teachers also reported he had used school computers to download instructions for making a bomb.
When police raided the flat where he lived in the village of Schwelm, 35 miles from Cologne, they found glycerine, hydrochloric acid and a black powder.
They also recovered a computer memory stick containing bomb making instructions, at least 15 knives – some of which were decoration weapons which police believe could have been adapted – and two samurai swords and
The boy, who is being held at a psychiatric hospital, told police the threats had been a joke but Dietmar Trust, a spokesman for the Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis police said the haul of weapons, threats and the bomb making instructions suggested they may have averted a major tragedy.
Officials say they have received half a dozen threats since the shooting spree on Wednesday.
Friday, police closed a school in Ilsfeld, some 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Winnenden, after finding a warning in an Internet chatroom that a shooting spree was planned there.
Teachers and pupils were kept out of the secondary school in the morning, but after searching the premises with sniffer dogs, police said nothing suspicious had been found.
In nearby Esslingen, a 20-year old was arrested Thursday after he threatened on the Internet to go on a rampage.
In the town of Wendlingen, police were alerted that a 15-year old had written the words "shooting spree" with chalk in his schoolyard, and a school in southwestern Freiburg was briefly evacuated after a bomb threat Thursday, police said.
And a 21-year-old man was arrested in Soltau, Lower Saxony, after making claims of a forthcoming massacre in an internet forum.
Police in the Netherlands also reported that an 18-year-old male had threatened to carry out a shooting at a southern Dutch school.