Palma.A 21-year-old man confessed to police yesterday that he was planning a bomb attack on the Balearic university using explosives that he had purchased on the internet.
Juan Manuel Morales Sierra told police of his total admiration for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who killed 12 students and injured many more in the Columbine school attack in Colorado in 1999. He told detectives that he was planning a similar attack on the Balearic university using pipe bombs improvised explosive devices.
Sierra was arrested at his home in Palma after he received more than 140 kilos of bomb making chemicals and materials which he had ordered through the internet. The deadly consignment cost in excess of 12'000 euros. He allegedly raised the money from playing online poker.
The 21-year-old, who was studying electronics at a Palma college, wrote in his diary seized by police, that he hated society, especially university students.
Detectives said that he was a highly intelligent but introverted youth who had a love of Nazi symbols and badges.
Police said that he was operating alone and they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the case which has made headlines news across the globe.
Initially Sierra had been planning to use weapons in his alleged attack on the university in a horrific copy-cat Columbine style assault. He had lodged the necessary paperwork to obtain a fire arm licence with the Guardia Civil although it was rejected because they discovered that he was already under investigation by their colleagues at the National Police.
The police did reveal yesterday that the initial tip-off about Sierra came from a Venezuelan journalist living in Japan. The South American noticed Sierra´s internet blog in which he talked about his admiration for the authors of the Columbine massacre. The journalist contacted police in Palma who launched an investigation and kept the 21-year-old under surveillance.
Police are convinced that Sierra had the necessary know-how to produce pipe bombs with the items he had bought on the internet.
Yesterday, the 21-year-old went before a judge in Palma who sent him to prison charged with the illegal possession of bomb making materials.
His arrest has shaken the neighbourhood where he lived in Palma. Neighbours said that he was a loner who had few friends and would spend most of his day on the internet.
The President of the Balearic government has once again praised the work of the police for foiling the attack. A police spokesperson had said that he had been planning a massacre at the Balearic university.
Local students on campus were said to be in a state of shock at reports of the attack.