The student saw the suspicious backpack in one of the school's common areas around 12:30 p.m. Monday.
Classmates of the suspect thwarted the alleged bombing attempt Monday at Pine View High School in St. George, Utah, when they spotted smoke coming from the backpack and alerted a school resource officer, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
"After examining the device, bomb squad members indicated that if it had detonated; the device had the potential to cause significant injury or death", the St. George Police said in a statement.
A search warrant served at the home of the suspect uncovered a number of materials.
"It was also determined that the male had been researching information and expressing interest in ISIS and promoting the organization", police added. Police found Hurricane High School was also graffitied in large text with the message "ISIS is comi [sic]".
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The suspect confessed to tearing down the American flag last month at Utah's Hurricane High School and replacing it with ISIS' flag, he said during a police interview.
Police arrested and charged the teenager with manufacturing and possessing a weapon of mass destruction.
"Charges are pending on our incident here with the flag", Hurricane police officer Ken Thompson confirmed.
Following the incident police urged "all parents to openly communicate with their children and impress upon them that any threats, whether real or perceived, and inappropriate comments or postings on social media regarding any potential school violence will likely result in legal action and disciplinary action being taken against them".
The boy was arrested Monday night after Pine View High School in the city of St. George was evacuated for two hours that afternoon while the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a bomb squad investigated.
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A student found a backpack with smoke coming out of it, police said.
However, Whalen said it took the officer a long time to evaluate the threat, with the entire lunch period going by. "As I walked by, I looked inside of it [the backpack] and I could see the matches inside of it", Whalen told the St. George News.
Law enforcement officials are on the scene at the school.
The department stated, "He was then able to call in appropriate teams, such as; the Washington County Bomb Squad and Jax, the bomb-detecting K-9 from Dixie Regional Medical Center, to identify and disarm the explosive device".
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