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MOSCOW, January 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that a Russian national was detained last week in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania on charges of possessing a weapon of mass destruction.
Vladislav Miftakhov, a 19-year-old Russian student at Penn State Altoona College, was arrested last Friday after police discovered at his apartment a homemade bomb and bomb-making materials.
“Our staff at the Consulate General in New York was informed on January 26 that Vladislav Miftakhov was arrested in Pennsylvania,” Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry’s human rights envoy, said. “He [Miftakhov] faces serious charges of possessing weapons of mass destruction and incendiary devices.”
The diplomat said that the staff at the Russian Consulate General managed to meet and talk with the detained student.
“He said that explosive devices were fireworks,” Dolgov said, adding that Miftakhov did not complain about conditions of his stay in prison.
The United States will send Russia an official notification on the arrest of the Russian national on Monday, Dolgov said.
CNN earlier reported citing a statement from the Altoona police department that the Russian was arrested while police were investigating a possible marijuana growing operation. They discovered marijuana plants at his apartment and called for a backup after finding homemade bomb.
Besides charges of possessing a weapon of mass destruction, the Russian student was also charged with drug-related offences.
According to Altoona Mirror daily, Miftakhov told police that he intended to blow up the explosive device “in a remote field.”
The daily quoted his roommate Andrew Leff as saying that Miftakhov was a "crazy kid" who did "impulsive things," and his arrest was not surprising.