HMTD and PETN Found in Rented House in Escondido, Serbian National George Djura Jakubec Arrested

Escondido, California law officers and firefighter/paramedics responded about 1:00 pm. Thursday November 18, 2010 to an explosion after a gardner stepped on an explosive device in the 1900 block of Via Scott in Escondido. The gardner suffered a large gash above his left eye, puncture wounds to his left arm and torso, eyebrows that were burned off, and singed mustache and hair.

Officials responding to the scene found glass jars of the explosive hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD) were found Thursday as investigators searched the backyard of a home. Officials described the substance as a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, hexamine, and citric or sulfuric acid. At least two neighboring homes were evacuated.

A renter at the home, George Djura Jakubec, 54, was arrested Thursday evening on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, making a destructive device and the unlawful possession of explosives.

On Friday, over a period of about a half-hour, the sheriff’s bomb and arson squad detonated six containers of explosive material or components. Authorities shut down a mile-long stretch of I-15 at 11:30 a.m., forcing southbound I-15 drivers to detour onto Escondido surface streets as a precaution in case debris from the blasts landed on the freeway. Most lanes were reopened about 2 p.m., but the far-right lane remained closed overnight.

The following week on Wednesday only two or three bomb technicians entered the house for less than an hour and seized a computer and other items. The crew videotaped the interior to review later and determine their next mission

The following week San Diego County authorities confirmed Thursday, November 25, 2010 they have found pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, a favorite of al Qaeda bomb-makers that is now the target of new U.S. airport body scans and pat downs. The residential discovery was announced as the largest cache of the two homemade explosives HMTD and PETN ever discovered in one location in the United States.

Jakubec, who authorities described as a ‘hoarder’ is a Serbian national who is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He lived in the house with his wife, Marina Ivanova, told authorities, “I think he lost his mind. He lost his mind or something. … I know that he was collecting, obsessively collecting stuff.”

Evidence of armed robberies was also discovered. Jakubec’s charges were upgraded to include armed robbery and bond was upped to $5 million.

No further action bomb squad activity is expected until December 1, 2010 or later.

NOTE: Another man was arrested in a close proximity to the neighborhood of Jakubec for possession of explosive devices. Richard Hinkel, who was screaming obscenities in his backyard Sunday morning, caused police to respond to the disturbance and find 18 explosive devices, fireworks, 12 rifles and 10 handguns on the property and arrested Hinkel. There is no apparent connection between the two men.