Roommate: Penn State Altoona student from Russia set off bombs
ALTOONA — The roommate of a Penn State student from Russia charged with building a suspected bomb in his bedroom says the 18-year-old recently set off three “mini-bombs” outside their apartment.
Andrew Leff told the Altoona Mirror that he had advised Vladislav Miftakhov to get rid of the bomb-making materials. He called Miftakhov a “dumb” and “crazy” kid who was bored and impulsive, but not dangerous.
“He was off the wall,” Leff said. “He's the weirdest human being I've ever met, to be honest.”
Miftakhov, a student at Penn State's satellite campus in Altoona, was in jail on Sunday after being arrested on Friday and charged with possessing a weapon of mass destruction, risking a catastrophe and several other drug and weapons counts, according to court records. The records did not list a lawyer for Miftakhov, who was being held on $500,000 bail.
No one answered a telephone call on Sunday to an address listed for Miftakhov in California.
In the affidavit, police said they were investigating a reported marijuana growing operation at Miftakhov's apartment reported by the landlord when they found a suitcase holding two containers with exposed fuses and other explosives-related materials. The devices were later dismantled by state troopers.
An Altoona police officer in the apartment asked Miftakhov what he was going to do with the devices and Miftakhov responded that he was going to “blow things up,” according to the affidavit. Later, under questioning at the police station, Miftakhov said he had experimented with the devices in California, but never in Pennsylvania, and he had not planned on blowing up anything, the affidavit said.
“Miftakhov stated his intent was to set the devices off in a remote field and did not intend on ‘blowing anything up,'” the affidavit said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf: ‘Theatrics’ holding up budget
- Pennsylvania Senate defeats tax overhaul plan
- Philly traffic stop turns violent; trooper shot in shoulder
- Bucks County tells state: No budget, no tax payments
- Amish man runs Harrisburg marathon in his traditional clothing
- Philly DA says training helped prosecutors named in scandal
- Pennsylvania justices hear arguments in Public Utility Commission records case
- Elder care facilities evoke times gone by in quest to fight dementia