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Friday, November 26, 2010

San Diego County home bomb-making factory too dangerous

Officials pull out of CA bomb factory, cite danger

ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Explosives experts have pulled out of a San Diego County home described as a virtual bomb-making factory because it's too dangerous to remove some of the materials discovered inside the rental property earlier this month. Operations at the Escondido home of George Djura Jakubec were suspended on Wednesday until local, state and federal explosives experts can make plans to re-enter the home and remove blasting caps and dangerous chemicals, the county Sheriff's Department said in a statement.
Prosecutors have said the materials found at Jakubec's home in Escondido, about 20 miles north of San Diego, make up the largest amount of certain homemade explosives in one location in U.S. history.
No action is expected until at least next Wednesday but the home remained cordoned off, authorities said.
Jakubec, a 54-year-old unemployed software consultant, pleaded not guilty on Monday to illegally making and possessing explosives and to robbing banks. Investigators suspect him of committing two holdups in San Diego County over the summer. He remained jailed Friday on $5.1 million bail.
Explosives were discovered in his rented home after a gardener was injured earlier this month in a blast that occurred when he stepped on explosive powder in the backyard, authorities said. Mario Garcia, 49, suffered eye, chest and arm injuries and was recovering.
Investigators said they found 13 unfinished shrapnel grenades and at least nine pounds of dangerous materials in and around the home. Authorities say it is unclear what Jakubec may have planned to do with the materials.
The same types of chemicals have been used by suicide bombers and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. They included Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, which was used in the 2001 airliner shoe-bombing attempt as well as in last month's airplane cargo bombs, prosecutors said.
The other chemicals were highly unstable Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HMTD, and Erythritol tetranitrate, or ETN, authorities said.
Investigators said they also found gallons of hydrochloric, nitric and sulfuric acid and 50 pounds of the toxic chemical hexamine from a storage area outside the main home.
On Wednesday, local and federal bomb experts entered the cluttered home again and seized items related to bomb-making and armed robbery, the Sheriff's Department statement said. It did not identify the items seized.
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