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Police break up Columbine-like plot to attack German school

The Associated Press

Members of Cologne's town security staff are seen outside the Georg-Buechner high school, in Cologne, Germany, Monday. (AP Photo/Roberto Pfeil)
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BERLIN — German police said Sunday they had thwarted a plot by a pair of teens to attack their school in Cologne, after classmates saw them studying pictures of the Columbine school shooting and alerted their principal.

One of the teens died after throwing himself in front of a tram after being questioned by police officers on Friday, said lead investigator Norbert Wagner. The other teen, an 18-year-old, was arrested by police in Cologne and confessed to the plot, Wagner told reporters at a news conference. Neither teen was identified.

Wagner said the principal of the Georg-Buechner high school in Cologne contacted authorities on

Photographers take pictures of a crossbow, a bolt, a plastic bottle and two air guns seized from two 17 and 18-year-old students. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz)
Friday, after classmates had observed the 17-year-old studying an Internet page with pictures of the Columbine massacre.

During a search of the two suspects' homes, police confiscated two crossbows and two air guns, as well as other information.

"We also found a list with names of teachers and students who were possibly to be targeted by the pair," Wagner said.

He said the pair appeared to be planning to carry out the attack on the coming Tuesday _ the first anniversary of Germany's most recent school shooting.

Last Nov. 20, Sebastian Bosse, 18, opened fire at his former school in Emsdetten before killing himself. Five people were wounded and dozens injured.

After the shooting, officers found a diary by Bosse in which he also referred to the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher, and wounded 23 others.

Earlier this month, an 18-year-old student killed eight people and himself at a school in southern Finland. He had also referenced the massacre at Columbine.

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