Schoolboys' plot to 'bomb Buckingham Palace' foiled by mother
Two 16-year-old boys whose plot to blow up Buckingham Palace was discovered by one of their mothers have been jailed at Newcastle Crown Court.
The friends, who are from the North East, admitted buying bomb-making materials for unlawful purposes at an earlier hearing.
One of their mothers contacted police after she discovered the chemicals had been delivered to her home.
The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, discussed potential targets, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, a local public school and "a random shopping centre".
One boy told police they were assembling devices based upon a recipe from the Anarchist's Cook Book which he intended to use to blow himself up.
He said he was suicidal and wanted to kill himself in the middle of a field, but his friend intended to "go out with a bang" in the middle of Newcastle, taking others with him, the court was told.
After the case, photos of fuses, pipes and some of the chemicals they ordered were released by the CPS.
Specialists confirmed that the materials could have been used to manufacture viable explosive devices, similar to hand grenades, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Both boys, who have been locked up for a year after admitting to buying the materials, were sentenced on Friday to a 12-month detention and training order.
John Dilworth, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North East, said: "It is alarming to note that, at the point when their scheme was discovered, these two young men had already secured all of the materials required to construct a viable explosive device."
Thankfully, the potentially tragic consequences of their plans were never realised.
We are grateful to the actions of the defendants' relatives, whose suspicions alerted police to the serious risk posed, not only to the public at large but also to the young defendants themselves.
– JOHN DILWORTH, DEPUTY CHIEF CROWN PROSECUTOR FOR CPS NORTH EAST
One defendant told his parents that fuses and sections of pipe that arrived at the family home were for a school science project, the court heard.
Racist messages and links about making nail bombs and Molotov cocktails were later found on one of the boy's phones, the court was told.
The court heard how one boy would tell sick jokes about 9/11 and claimed he was making a bomb.
One boy was described as a loner by his parents, and schoolmates knew he used drugs, while the other boy was said to be prone to erratic behaviour and suicidal thoughts.