Teenagers "wanted to blow up school on anniversary of Columbine massacre"

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Two teenage boys were thought to be planning to blow up a school in Greater Manchester, England to coincide with the tenth anniversary of a massacre that took place in a school in Littleton, Colorado, US.

The statement was given to Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday as the trial was proceeding. Matthew Swift, 18, and Ross McKnight, 16, were both thought to be planning to blow up Audenshaw High School in Denton, Greater Manchester on April 20th this year — the tenth anniversary of a killing spree that took place in a high school in Columbine, in the US state of Colorado. It is also thought that the two students could have planned to blow up Crown Point North shopping complex in Manchester as well.

Matthew and Ross both lived in the same street and were arrested in March of this year. Believed to be another one of their influences was the Oklahoma City bombings of 1995, for which Timothy McVeigh was convicted. That bombing killed 168 people and injured 450 people at a federal complex.

A 16-year-old girl in the court has claimed that in the early hours of March 14, 2009, Ross called her while he was intoxicated with alcohol and said that he and "Swifty" had been inspired by what had happened in America and that this would be "a busy season for things like that". When the girl asked why she claimed that he said: "I just wanted to do it. I hate them all."

The trial is currently still continuing in the Manchester Crown Court.