CRIME

Fifth-Graders Arrested After Allegedly Planning Explosion

A teacher tipped off authorities after finding a written plan to attack a nearby high school.
Police in New Jersey arrested five students from Clifton Elementary School 11, pictured, after they allegedly planned to deto
Police in New Jersey arrested five students from Clifton Elementary School 11, pictured, after they allegedly planned to detonate an explosive at a nearby school.

Five fifth-grade students in New Jersey were arrested after police say they plotted to detonate an explosive device during an assembly this week at a nearby high school.

Authorities say 10- and 11-year-olds at Clifton Elementary School 11 intended to "cause damage," local news outlet Pix 11 reported.

"It wasn't a prank," Clifton police spokesman Robert Bracken told the station.

The children’s alleged scheme unraveled when a teacher uncovered written plans outlining an attack to take place at Clifton High School, police said. The high school canceled its assembly in response.  

Authorities said the device they recovered from the students was filled with vinegar and cinnamon and didn't contain any actual explosives, WABC reported.

Still, authorities reportedly found enough criminal intent to take the students into custody. The kids were then released to their parents and suspended from the school, which is located about 14 miles west of Manhattan.

What charges, if any, the children may face is not clear.

The kids may have gotten outside help and their idea may have stemmed from other events, police said. They did not elaborate on those statements.

The police department and Passaic County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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