LAKE HELEN, Fla. — Law enforcement officials said they’re grateful for an anonymous tip about a volatile chemical that had the potential of blowing up a neighborhood block.
They said the suspect is highly intelligent and allegedly had the materials for recreational use. Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the man was savvy enough that he did not blow himself up.
Lake Helen police responded to a crime watch tip about a bomb under a bed at a home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Lake Helen on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
“We went inside and spoke with the subject inside, and we went into his room with his approval and noticed bomb-making materials,” said Lake Helen Police Chief Mike Walker.
The chief contacted the bomb squad and they moved the material, which was in mason jars, to a nearby field. The material tested positive for triacetone triperoxide.
“It is highly volatile. Al-Qaeda has dubbed this chemical ‘The Mother of Satan.’ It was last used in 2017, Paris attacks in 2015, and also used by the shoe bomber,” Chitwood said.
Jared Coburn, 37, who lived with his uncle in the home, was taken into custody and will be charged with making explosive devices.
Triacetone triperoxide is a granular power, made with common household products.
“He tried to explain he was making his own version of a firework,” Walker said.
The chief said Coburn works packing parachutes, but had enough mixture to do some serious damage.
“When it was deployed in London, it killed 52 people and wounded 700,” Chitwood said.
“It’s going to be hard to sleep tonight. I’ll probably be checking on my kids a lot,” concerned neighbor Nicole Sullivan said.
“When Al-Qaeda names this stuff ‘The Mother of Satan,’ there’s a reason for it. When you look around Europe, the mass casualties make the hair stand up on your back, like, holy cow, this is happening in Volusia County,” Chitwood said.