Police executing a drug search warrant found a large bomb-making lab in a Beit Shemesh house and are trying to piece together what the explosives were for, Jerusalem Police said Tuesday.
The suspect is a 23-year-old local man living in a house owned by his father. He has no criminal record and is not known to be linked to any extremist group or criminal organization, police said.
“He’s from a good family, normal people, and we don’t know him as being linked to any group or politics,” a Jerusalem police official said Tuesday, adding that investigators are still questioning the man to try to determine his motives for building the explosives lab.
According to police, officers came to the house on Monday night after getting a tip that there were drugs on the premises. Once inside, they reportedly found bomb-making supplies and dozens of kilos of pyrotechnic materials spread over a number of rooms in the house. The chemicals can be used to make gunpowder, and it is unclear if the powder was to be used to make firecrackers or to pack into pipe bombs and other explosive devices.
After finding the bomb-making supplies, police said they also uncovered a half a kilo of marijuana and equipment for setting up a hydroponic marijuana grow room. Police said the man told them that the marijuana is for personal use.
On Tuesday the man was taken for a remand extension, and in the coming days police said they will continue to work to determine what the man was up to.
“It’s a strange story,” the Jerusalem police official said Tuesday.