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More teenagers making homemade bombs

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From coast to coast, law enforcement agencies are reporting a rise in homemade bombs. And headlines reveal a disturbing truth: Many of these explosives are being made by teenagers.

In Tampa, Fla., an anonymous caller tipped off police that 17-year-old Jared Cano was planning to blow up the high school from which he had been expelled. Officers went to Cano's apartment. Inside was an arsenal of gunpowder, fuses, pipes and shrapnel. But the most chilling discovery -- Cano's handwritten manifesto that outlined  plans for a massacre.

Cano looks like the boy next door. And that's the problem.

According to the Secret Service, there is no definite profile for a teen bomber -- but there are warning signs.

A quick glance at Cano's Facebook page says it all. Photos of him drinking alcohol, references to marijuana -- but the most telling is the quote: "Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten."

Dr. Angela Aiello is a psychotherapist who specializes in teen substance and depression.

"If your child has a Facebook account, it is the responsibility of the parent to monitor that account," says Aiello. "What kind of photographs is he posting? What are the things that interest him? You can find an awful lot by simply reading."

Cano's journal expressed his frustration and desire for revenge. Aiello says if you discover something like this, you need to take immediate action.

She recommends a firm, non-emotional approach.

"You could say to the child, ‘You know what? I have evidence here, sweetie, that tells me that you're involved in behavior that could be harmful to yourself or others. I'm sorry if you feel that I have violated your trust, but I care about the health and welfare of you and the people who live around you,'" says Aiello.

But, if you discover a detailed plan of attack, Aiello says you must call the police and then get your teenager into appropriate counseling.

"It is very important that you get involved in your child's treatment, that you don't just pawn the kid off on the therapist and expect the therapist to fix something that has been a problem that has been percolating for years," she advises.

Aiello says the bottom line is that parents need to make a point of knowing what's going on with their teenagers, provide positive outlets for their anger and frustrations, and make sure they have adequate structure and supervision.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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