On November 24, CNN reported that the largest authorities had found "the largest cache of certain homemade explosives ever found in one place in the United States" in a Southern California home. The home belonged to George Djura Jakubec, a 54-year-old Serbian national who attained U.S. citizenship and worked as a computer software consultant. Police searched it and found the huge stash, according to a later story by Fox News, after a gardener employed by Mr. Jakubec set off an explosion by brushing against an explosive powder left on the back yard of the home. CNN's report notes that Mr Jakubec is on probation for a 2009 burglary conviction. Multiple sources report that the materials are of the type(s) commonly used by terrorists.
Both Fox News and an LA Times report noted that Mr. Jakubec's reasons for compiling the explosives are still unknown. Neighbors and his gardener have described him as a quiet, withdrawn person. CNN reports that his estranged wife has stated that he has been "obsessively collecting stuff" (Compulsive Hoarding) and she thinks he's lost his mind.
Police: Record cache of homemade explosives found in San Diego County
November 24, 2010|By Michael Martinez, CNN
Alleged Owner of Massive Homemade Bomb Arsenal Is a Mystery Man
By Ed Barnes Published November 26, 2010 | FoxNews.com
According to the Fox News story, Mr. Jakubec was unemployed, having simply stopped going to work. His former employer is suing him for back-pay over time he received pay while not working.
Reporters checking with former neighbors at his previous residence of 15 years could not find anyone who remembered him.
It appears that authorities are not sure yet whether to consider this situation a terrorist threat. Based on the description of Mr. Jakubec by those closest to him, it is hard to determine whether he even intended to use the explosives, much less how. Authorities have not even been able to determine how he obtained the materials.
Authorities have determined that the entire stash must be destroyed. However, Mr. Jakubec's hoarding problem has greatly complicated the matter. The materials involved are too dangerous for a manned search and removal, but the house is too cluttered to allow a bomb-disposing robot to maneuver around inside.
This has left only the choice to burn the home in a meticulously planned, highly controlled fire. A team of experts and emergency workers will be involved in the operation, which will include the precautionary steps of evacuating nearby homes, monitoring weather to determine where the smoke will go, and shutting down nearby Interstate 15. Perfect weather will be needed for the operation, which is planned for this Wednesday.