ALLEGED BOMB MAKER IN ESCONDIDO HAD LARGEST STASH OF HOME-MADE EXPLOSIVES EVER FOUND IN U.S.; SUSPECT ALSO ACCUSED OF BANK ROBBERIES

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Jakubec formerly ran a contracting business in Ramona

 

By Miriam Raftery
 

November 22, 2010 (Escondido)—George Djura Jakubec, 54, pled not guilty today to 28 criminal counts. He is accused of possessing destructive explosive devices and the ingredients to make them, as well as robbing two local banks.
 

Deputy District Attorney Terri Perez told Judge Marshall Hockett that the suspect’s home was “a bomb factory” containing “the largest quantity of these types of homemade explosives at one place in the United States.” Those materials pose “a huge danger to officers and the public,” she said.

 

In addition to bombs and explosive materials, authorities found multiple detonators, grenades and shrapnel. Authorities have not disclosed what the intended target of the bombs may have been, nor whether Jakobec was acting alone or as part of an organization.

After a gardener was injured in an explosion in the home’s backyard last week, investigators with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department searched the premises. They discovered mason jars containing over nine pounds of HMTD, an explosive commonly used by suicide bombers and implicated in the foiled Millennium plot to bomb Los Angeles Airport.
 

Today, prosecutors revealed, additional explosives known as ETN and PETN were also found. ETN is often mixed with other explosives and is highly volatile and sensitive to friction. Mixed with plasciticizers, PETN becomes a plastic explosive. It is one of the most powerful explosives in the world. PETN was used by Al Qaeda shoe bomber Richard Reid and the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. In Berlin, Germany PETN collapsed the Maison de France house in 1983. Last month, printer cartridges containing PETN and intended to be loaded on flights bound for the U.S. were discovered.
 

Authorities shut down Interstate 15 on Friday while they buried the first batch of explosives and attempted to detonate them. But after the discovery of massive quantities of additional explosives, the site was deemed too dangerous even for bomb squad members to work. The effort has been temporarily called off while authorities assess how to safely eliminate the explosive materials, a Sheriff’s official told ECM late today. Meanwhile some residents remain evacuated from their home, though they were allowed in briefly to prepare their home as if for an earthquake, removing pictures from walls, 10 News reported.

 

Jakubec, a naturalized citizen originally from Serbia, had made recent trips to Mexico and was renting the residence. His profile on Linked In lists him as a software engineer. He held a contractor’s license with the state of California for a Ramona-based business from 1988 to 1992, which operated as a sole proprietorship at 15500 Vistas Vicente, Ramona.. He was fired by a recent employer. According to KPBS, he pled guilty in 2009 to commercial burglary and was placed on three years’ probation, according to court records.
 

His wife, Marina Ivanova, appeared today at the courthouse. She initially told reporters that “He is a good man; I love him.” But after hearing the evidence against him, she sobbed and said, “He is crazy, I think. He’s lost his mind.”
 

Prosecutors revealed today that stolen cash was found at the home. He is charge witih robbing banks on June 25 and July 17. Te Bank America in Sorrento Valley was robbed on June 25th by a man wearing a rubber mask that led some to initially believe the thief to be the serial “Geezer Bandit.” On July 17, a man in a floppy hat and sunglasses held up Bank of America’s Carmel Mountain Road branch, San Diego Police reported.
 

News crews were not allowed to broadcast video of Jakubec. However Channel 10 News reports that he is slight in stature with a receding hairline and short, gray hair. His bail was raised today to $5 million.
 

The gardener injured in the explosion, Mario Garcia, was released from the hospital today after suffering injuries to his arm, side, and eye. Despite his injuries, Garcia told reporters that he is grateful to be alive. This Thanksgiving, he concluded, “I have a lot to be thankful for.”
 

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