Palma.The National Police appealed for the help of the general public yesterday to combat crime on the internet after a 21-year-old youth who lived in Palma outlined his admiration for the authors of the Columbine school massacre on an internet website.
Juan Manuel Morales, was arrested by police on Wednesday at his Palma home as he was in the process of taking delivery of 140 kilos of bomb making chemicals and other items. He later confessed to police that he had been planning to place pipe bombs (improvised explosive devices) across the university campus.
If the general public see or read anything offensive or even suspicious, they should contact us at once, said a police spokesperson yesterday.
The first tip-off about the 21-year-old came from a South American journalist who saw Morales´ internet post about the Columbine massacre. He contacted the police who put the youth under surveillance.
The tip-off even thwarted an attempt by Morales to obtain a fire arms licence. The 21-year-old electronics student had applied to the Guardia for a licence but it was rejected when they established that he was the subject of an investigation by their colleagues in the National Police.
Morales had initially favoured using fire arms for his assault on the university campus in a copycat attack to the Columbine school massacre in Colorado in 1999 which claimed the lives of 12 students and injured many others.
As a direct result and using the proceeds from his winnings from playing online poker he bought 140 kilos of bomb making equipment through the internet.
The police confirmed yesterday that he had the necessary knowledge to build an improvised explosive device, such as pipe bombs which have been used to such deadly affect by the Taliban in Afghanistan against allied troops. There is one common denominator throughout this case and that is the internet, said the police spokesperson. He plotted on the internet and even bought the materials to build a bomb online, he added.
Morales is now in Palma prison after a remand hearing on Friday night. The judge, after listening to his confession to police in which he outlined his admiration for the Columbine attackers and his plans to attack the university, sent him to jail with no bail. He is expected to stay behind bars until a date is set for his trial.
The police are continuing with their investigation into the case although they believe that Morales acted alone and that there were no others involved in the plot.
Palma Police are now investigating how he was able to order bomb making materials through the internet.