Two 17-year-old youths arrested in Loudoun County last weekend for transporting a homemade pipe bomb are skinheads, one of the youths said yesterday.

The youth, of Sterling Park, said there were no plans for using the bomb and other explosives that Loudoun sheriff's deputies found in the car they were driving. Instead, the pipe bomb was made as an experiment six months ago, the youth said.

He decribed himself as an anti-racist American skinhead. His friend, he said, was a member of a different skinhead group. The youths' names were not released by police because of their ages.

Skinheads, whose hair is closely cropped, dress in heavy boots and combat fatigues; are often fans of hard-edged rock and roll; and sometimes have been involved in other parts of the country in violent racist activities.

A Loudoun deputy spotted the pipe bomb about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after he stopped to help the youths who were stuck in the mud near Route 7.

One youth, who was charged with an alcohol violation and released to the custody of his parents, said the two were waiting to meet another friend.

The second teenager, of Vienna, was charged with three counts of manufacturing and possession of explosive devices, and with having a concealed weapon, said Deputy Carol Showalter, spokeswoman for the Loudoun Sheriff's Office.

During a search of the car, the deputy also found knives, martial arts weapons and beer. Additional explosives were found in a car parked near one of the youth's home in the Sugarland Run subdivision of Loudoun. The Fairfax County police bomb squad was called in to detonate the bombs.

"As far as we know, there was no intention of using them," Showalter said.

When arrested, both teenagers were wearing black bomber jackets, fatigues and black English work boots called Doctor Marten's, the hallmark uniform of nearly all skinheads. The youth said he and other American skinheads wear the military-style clothing because they consider themselves to be an army fighting against racism and for certain types of free speech and freedom from authority.

"We're fighting for America the way it was supposed to be, not the way it turned out," he said. "We're a group of people that have the same basic beliefs and basically consider ourselves to be an army."

The youth said his friend had a 3 inch-by-1 inch pipe bomb, other explosives and clothes because he had run away from home and had taken all his belongings with him. Police confirmed that the other teenager had run away.

Police took from his friend a book titled "The Anarchist Cookbook," which gives detailed instructions about how to make explosive devices from household supplies, according to the youth.