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Pa. student faces bomb charges

PITTSBURGH — A college student from Russia was charged Thursday with possessing and making unregistered bombs using chemicals, fuses, and empty carbon dioxide cartridges in his off-campus apartment.

Pittsburgh’s federal prosecutor said investigators are still trying to determine Vladislav Miftakhov’s intentions. The charges were warranted, the prosecutor said, because of the public safety risk the devices posed, even if the intentions of the 18-year-old Penn State-Altoona student were benign.

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‘‘These chemicals can be used to create explosive devices but mixed together they can be set off even by static electricity,’’ said US Attorney David Hickton. ‘‘There’s a very good reason why they’re required to be registered under the facts we’ve charged him under.’’

Miftakhov’s lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment on the charges filed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Miftakhov was arrested Jan. 24 after Altoona police, acting on a tip from his landlord, allegedly found marijuana-growing supplies and bomb-making materials in Miftakhov’s room.

Miftakhov’s lawyer, Robert Donaldson, told the Altoona Mirror newspaper that his client comes from a good family and has no criminal record.

‘‘Once the facts come out, people will see a different side of this,’’ he said.

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