Montreal student sounds alert over planned U.K. school attack

A student at Montreal's Concordia University says he was proud to play a role in helping to stop a school attack in the United Kingdom this week.

Winnipeg native spots ominous message posted on web forum

A student at Montreal's Concordia University says he was proud to play a role in helping to stop a school attack in the United Kingdom this week.

Montreal student J.P. Neufeld alerted authorities after seeing a threat to a British school on an online forum. ((CBC))
J.P. Neufeld, a 21-year-old Winnipeg native, alerted authorities on Tuesday after he stumbled across a posting on a web forum from a student claiming he was going to burn down his school in Norfolk, England.

"You don't make threats like that idly. Either it was a hoax or something he was going to go through with," Neufeld told CBC News.

Neufeld saw the threat when he was scrolling through a forum on the technology website

"I saw this thread started by this guy. It didn't seem serious at first. It said that today at 11:30 a.m. GMT I will commit violence and other forms of arson against my school [in Norfolk]. He had posted a picture of a gas can," Neufeld told CBC News.

He quickly looked up the phone number for police in the area and gave them a call via an internet telephone service.

"I said, 'Hi, I'm a guy from Canada. There is someone about to set fire to a school.' At that point I didn't know the name of the school or the guy. I gave the police the address of the thread," said Neufeld.

Eventually, police and other contributors to the web forum tracked down information about a suspect and narrowed down the school.

In less than an hour, police made an arrest.

Police arrest 16-year-old student outside high school

The Norfolk Constabulary in the U.K. said in a media statement that a 16-year-old male student was taken into custody at Attleborough High School after he was found with a knife, matches and a canister containing a flammable liquid.

A 16-year-old U.K. teen allegedly posted a message on the website threatening violence against his school. ((CBC))
About 950 students attend the high school in Norfolk, about 170 kilometres north of London.

The teen was arrested for threats to commit criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon, said the Norfolk Constabulary.

Police said the teenager is co-operating with the investigation and is being held under the Mental Health Act.

Neufeld also credited another contributor to the web forum who helped in the effort to alert authorities.

School leaders thank web users for help

Stuart Bailey, the head teacher at Attleborough High School, expressed gratitude for those who alerted authorities to the threat so quickly.

"We had been made aware of the student's alleged intentions and stopped him before he entered the main school site," said Bailey in a statement.

"I am very grateful to the person who did the right thing and made us aware."