Palma.A 21-year-old Majorcan was in police custody in Palma last night accused of plotting a bomb attack on the Balearic university.
The suspect was seized as he received 140 kilogrammes of ingredients for explosives, apparently to be used for a Columbine-style massacre. Twelve people died and scores were wounded when two students attacked their school in Columbine in Colorado in 1999. Initially the Majorcan suspect had been planning to use weapons, similar to the Columbine attack, but he later abandoned the idea in favour of pipe bombs.
He reportedly kept a diary where he wrote about hating society and that he was ready to die in his attack.
The police were alerted to the possible plot when they noticed that the suspect, who has only been named as Juan Manuel M.S., talked about the Columbine school massacre on an internet forum and said that the two perpetrators were his heroes. He also underlined the fact that he had the same love of firearms and music as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who carried out the school massacre. A police surveillance operation was mounted which ended in his arrest on Wednesday morning at his home in Palma where he was taking delivery of the bomb-making equipment.
A police spokesperson said that a massacre had been averted as a result of the arrest while government officials praised the work of the police.
The 21-year-old is believed to have bought the bomb-making equipment through the internet. He was an expert in electronics and police underlined the fact that he had the necessary skills to manufacture explosive devices which could have proved lethal.
So far little information has been released about the suspect although he left his parents' home recently and rented a flat close to the Balearic government headquarters in Palma.
It is claimed that he won relatively large amounts of money by playing internet poker and these proceeds could have been used to finance the purchase of the explosive-making ingredients. Neighbours said that he was a loner and failed to make friends in the neighbourhood.
The local university said that they had received a threatening letter from the suspect some months ago in which he underlined his hatred of higher education.