Escondido CA Bomb update

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Police have arrested an Escondido, California man after discovering “the largest quantity of this type of homemade explosives found in one location in the history of the United States” in his rented home.
In addition to the explosives, authorities also found thirteen homemade grenades wrapped with shrapnel and nine completed detonators in the home of George Djura Jakubec, located near Interstate 15. While the grenades were not active, the ingredients to make them were found in the home.
The three explosives found in Jakubec’s home were:

A small mushroom cloud can be seen as police detonate Jakubec’s explosive stash in his rented Escondido home.
  • HMTD (Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine): An explosive powder that is unstable and very dangerous to manufacture. It has been used in a large number of suicide bombings worldwide.
  • PETN (Pentaerythritol tetranitrate): A powerful explosive used in the 2001 shoe bomber incident, the 2009 Christmas Day bomb plot and October’s cargo plane bomb plot. It can be manufactured commercially for legitimate purposes or at home by amateurs.
  • ETN (Erythritol tetranitrate): Similar to PETN, but more rare. It’s precursor is a natural sweetener, which has recently become readily available to amateur bomb makers. There is no commercial use for ETN.

It is not known what Jakubec was planning to do with the explosives, but an investigation is ongoing. Police instructed the media to not release a picture of Jakubec so the investigation would not be compromised. 

Gardener Mario Garcia accidentally found Jakubec’s explosive stash when he stepped on some of it while working in the back yard.

The chemicals were discovered when a gardener working on Jakubec’s home was seriously injured after stepping on something in the back yard that exploded. Police say the gardener had merely scuffed his foot on explosives that had fallen on the ground. The gardener has been treated and released from hospital.

Jakubec matches security camera footage taken from two Bank of America robberies, one on June 25 and the other on July 17, police said. The suspect in June 25 robbery is wearing a mask while the one from July 17 is wearing a hat and large sunglasses. The suspect handed a note to the bank teller threatening violence if his demands were not met. Jakubec is a naturalized citizen from Serbia who ofter travels back and forth to Mexico, authorities said. 

Security camera footage from the two bank robberies implicates Jakubec and Jakubec’s extranged wife, Marina Ivanova,  37, told media that her husband of 10 years was laid off from his job as a computer-software consultant three years ago and has been unemployed since. She said losing his job and the economic downturn had taken a toll on Jakubec, and he became increasingly obsessive, buying chemicals and electronics with money she earned from her job. “I am afraid for my husband’s mental state,” Ivanova said. “He’s not well.” Although Ivanova says she knew Jakubec was making things with the chemicals, she did not know exactly what. She also said she recently left him. Police records show the two were arrested on October 19, 2009 for shoplifting from a local electronics store.  Calling Jakubec a “danger to the community,” the hearing judge set bail at US$ 5 million. Jakubec has been charged with 26 counts of bomb making and 2 for the bank robberies. If convicted on all charges, he faces 40 years in prison.


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