Explosives dubbed 'Mother of Satan' found in Volusia home, deputies say
Tip about homemade bomb leads to investigation
LAKE HELEN, Fla. – A tip led authorities to find jars filled with a highly explosive powder used by terror organizations in a Lake Helen home on Tuesday, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
The incident was reported before 4 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue after authorities said they received information that a resident in the area, identified hours later as 37-year-old Jared E. Coburn, had a homemade bomb under his bed, a news release said.
Just before 10 p.m., a News 6 crew heard a loud boom -- which officials confirmed was the detonation of one of the explosives.
Coburn told authorities that he was making fireworks, but Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the material, triacetone triperoxide, is very dangerous and has been used by terror organizations, including during attacks in Paris in 2015 and Manchester in 2017 during an Ariana Grande concert. Two jars, two vials and a baggie of TATP were found at the home, deputies said.
"It is highly volatile. Al Qaeda has dubbed this chemical 'the Mother of Satan.' It has been used in terror attacks all over the world," Chitwood said.
A few of the items recovered during yesterday's search at a home in Lake Helen. Total: 2 jars, 2 vials & 1 baggie of TATP (highly volatile explosive). Also, 2 homemade explosives & bomb-making paraphernalia with explosives residue. We set off 7 total countercharges last night. pic.twitter.com/alOljBZVyj— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) November 14, 2018
The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called to the scene Tuesday evening to help with the investigation.
"Throughout the rest of the night, the robot is going to take it out," Chitwood said. "We're going to pre-dig a hole, put it in and detonate it in the hole because it is too volatile to put in our trucks, move to our range to blow up."
Earlier in the evening, officials said that people in other homes in the area could be evacuated as the agencies continue to investigate.
Authorities said that because the chemical is so dangerous, it's likely that Coburn was very skilled in handling it.
"I think the general consensus from the experts is this guy is pretty intelligent and pretty savvy, that he's able to produce this and not have blown himself or anything else up accidentally," Chitwood said.
Authorities said they're thankful to the citizen who submitted the tip and they're glad this situation ended without any injuries.
“This just goes to show that these anonymous tips really help us out when it comes to protecting the general public,” VCSO Bomb Squad Lt. Lou Marino said. “If we wouldn’t have gotten that tip, who would know if we would’ve ever found out. Or it may have been after the fact, a very volatile situation would have taken place and somebody could’ve gotten hurt or, God forbid, killed. So we’re very grateful for that anonymous tip.”
Coburn is facing a charge of manufacturing an explosive device. A search warrant will be executed at his home Tuesday night and it's likely additional charges could follow. He's being held without bond at the Volusia County Jail.
Check back for more updates on this developing story.
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