Alleged Bombing Case Latest

By Mallory Lane

Published 01/26 2014 06:43PM

Updated 01/27 2014 12:37AM

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - 19 year-old Vladislav Miftakhov is still behind bars Sunday after being arrested Saturday for allegedly building a bomb in Altoona.

Police were searching the Russian teen's home in the 100 block of North Ninth Avenue because they thought he was dealing drugs, but police say the Penn State Altoona engineering student was doing something a lot more dangerous.

Miftakhov is charged with several felony and misdemeanor charges, including Possessing a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

Members of the Altoona community are left wondering why a 19 year-old was building a bomb and what was he planning if police hadn't found it when they did?

"What goes through my mind is that, who can you trust?" Penn State Altoona freshman, Jade Moser, said. "Some people, like you think you know them and they turn out to be someone you possibly don't even know."

It's  reality students like Moser are facing.

"I think it's pretty scary because I'm a freshman and I don't know what to expect," she said. "It's a scary incident and it's like really big, but I don't really know what's going on with it, so I can't really say much."

Their peer, 19 year-old engineering student, Vladislav Miftakhov is in jail Sunday after allegedly building a bomb and they're left wondering why.

"I grew up in Altoona, so stuff like that happens," sophomore Chelsey Savino said. "He looked familiar, but I didn't know him, I don't think. He might have been in one of my classes, but hopefully he wasn't really going to do anything with it."

According to the criminal complaint, he wasn't. Court documents show Miftakhov claims he was only planning to detonate the bomb in a remote field and did not intend to blow anything up.

"One of my friends, actually, it was her friend's roomate, they said, oh it was blown out of proportion, it was not big deal, he wasn't trying to bomb, but it's just, we don't really know that for sure," sophomore Angela Buccellato said.

Buccellato never actually Miftakhov, but she isn't worried.

"I'm glad they caught it in time, but I want to know what he was doing with it," she said. "I'm not scared. I'm not going to be like, oh I'm scared to walk around campus. It's not how I look at it."

Penn State Altoona Chancellor Lori Bechtel-Wherry is urging others to use the same mindset.

"We are providing support services to students and staff who may be in need of that and continuing to monitor the situation," she said.

In a letter to the student body, Bechtel-Wherry said, "I ask that you not make assumptions or conclusions, be fair-minded and not foster rumors and rely upon facts in viewing this situation."

Police are continuing to investigate Sunday. More details are expected Monday morning.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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