Edinburg teen charged in plot against school

By Joe Beck

Shenandoah County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 17-year-old student from Edinburg on Friday afternoon after the uncovering of what they say was a plot to commit an act of terrorism at Stonewall Jackson High School in Quicksburg in spring 2014.

Sheriff’s Office officials said the investigation is continuing but they believe no other individuals were involved, and there are no other threats to the school linked to the plot.

“We believe it was a serious threat,” Sheriff Tim Carter said in an interview Sunday night.

Sheriff’s office officials would not describe the exact nature of the threat, but they said the Virginia State Police bomb squad and Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Explosive Detection Dog Team participated in the execution of search warrants at unspecified locations in the Maurertown and Edinburg areas.

Maj. Scott Proctor said authorities seized evidence at the Edinburg site. He said the search warrants and their inventories of items seized are sealed and will likely remain so at least until a court date is set for the defendant in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Deputies arrested the defendant late Friday afternoon after serving him with a detention order, Proctor said. Authorities charged the juvenile with committing, conspiring, aiding and abetting acts of terrorism. He was being held at the Northwestern Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Winchester as of Sunday night.

Proctor said information about the threat was first reported to a school resource officer from other law enforcement officials in Northern Virginia.
Asked if the participation of explosive detection experts from the state police and Frederick County indicated the threat involved a bomb plot, Proctor replied:

“You can read between the lines, but I wouldn’t make that an official statement. We had to follow up information we had received, and we thought it would be an appropriate response to get those types of resources here.”

No information was available on the location of the arrest, but Proctor said the juvenile was taken into custody without incident.

Carter said the defendant appears to be the only person involved in the plot, and there are no plans to file charges against anyone else.

“This is still an ongoing investigation,” Carter said. “There still has to be some additional analysis of physical evidence collected at this point.”

Proctor said the Sheriff’s Office is “not aware of any additional threat to the school.”

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com