What began as an investigation into a minor explosion in North County on Thursday afternoon that injured a gardener has led to the discovery of more than nine pounds of a highly explosive homemade compound that has been used in terrorist plots and by suicide-bombers worldwide.
Known as HMTD, short for the Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, the powdery compound that resembles flour was found inside five or six Mason jars in the backyard of a home near Escondido that abuts Interstate 15 just north of El Norte Parkway.
Caldwell said it is not known why the renter of the property, George Djura Jakubec, 54, was manufacturing the explosive.
“We don’t know what he was doing,” she said. Both local and federal agencies are investigating. “There are a lot of eyes on this,” Caldwell said.
Jakubec was arrested Thursday on suspicion of unlawfully owning explosives and possessing and manufacturing destructive materials. He is to be arraigned in Vista Superior Court Monday afternoon.
The initial explosion that led authorities to the property on Via Scott happened when Mario Garcia, a landscaper, scuffed his foot on the ground apparently activating a bit of the compound which had fallen there. The resulting explosion injured Garcia’s left eye and arm.
“He was very lucky not to have been killed,” Caldwell said.
The Mason jars were later found outside the home.
Investigators were planning to enter the house Saturday afternoon where an earlier cursory inspection revealed such things as acids, bases, and solvents inside.
“He was apparently going to continue manufacturing the explosive,” Caldwell said. Officials will remain at the property indefinitely, she added.
“It’s like a witches brew inside there.”
According to news reports, HMTD was one of the components in the explosives prepared to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on New Years’s Eve 1999/2000, has been used by suicide bombers on numerous occasions, and was possibly used in the 2005 bombings in London.
The name Jakubec is Slavic, but there's no word yet whether he's an immigrant. I wonder if this will turn out to be an Bosnian Muslim terrorist manufacturing operation.
Or maybe he was just a hobbyist who took things a little too far.
HMTD does not appear in the Anarchist Cookbook.