San Diego: Massive stash of homebrew explosives found in Serbian hoarder's hideyhole


(Authorities closed off a nearby freeway so hazmat experts could blow up explosives found at the home of suspected bank robber and prolific bomb maker George Djura Jakubec)

Hazmat teams are very, very carefully clearing the residence of a Serbian national living in the San Diego County town of Escondido— the home was filled with the "the largest" cache of various varieties of homemade explosives ever found in one place in the US. So far, they have reportedly recovered 9 pounds of hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD, an explosive powder favored by suicide bombers worldwide), and they believe they'll also recover pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN, the stuff used in the 2001 shoe bomber plot and during October's attempted parcel bombing run).

From CNN:

The homeowner, George Djura Jakubec, 54, is being held in lieu of $5 million bail and has been charged with 28 felonies: 13 counts of possession of a destructive device, 13 counts of possession of ingredients to make a destructive device and two robbery counts. (…)

Bomb technicians must work slowly inside the house because the slightest friction — such as opening a drawer — could ignite the explosives, he said.

Jakubec appears to be a hoarder, and the clutter of paper and boxes in the house makes the hunt for explosives more difficult, Prendergast said. Bomb crews are wearing less gear so they can move about the house without brushing up against anything and accidentally igniting the explosives, he said.

"We are wearing some protective gear, not the big protective gear" that resembles moon suits, Prendergast said. "It's just not practical for this operation."

Authorities discovered the explosives Thursday after a gardener was injured when he unwittingly came across some of the HMTD powder in the backyard, Prendergast said. The blast went up one side of his body, from lower leg to head, he said.

Investigators today recovered computers from the house, from which they hope to obtain clues on why Jakubec was apparently cooking up all those bombs. The suspect's LinkedIn profile lists him as a software engineer, and a state database lists an expired contractor's license.

Police: Record cache of homemade explosives found in San Diego County (

Related coverage: San Diego Union-Tribune, North County Times, KUSI, NBC SD, AP, San Diego 6, 10 News, East County Magazine.

Here is a PDF of the charges against Jakubec.