Homemade explosive device was unlikely to work

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DANIEL PEREZ BERLANGA is perhaps the most famous person living in tiny Bronchales in Teruel, but for all the wrong reasons, after apparently attempting to mount an attack with a homemade bomb on the Partido Popular (PP) headquarters.

Bronchales, population 460, is a small municipality located at 1,500 metres over sea level in the Albarracin mountain range. Its residents woke up last Friday (December 19) to the shocking news that a neighbour had crashed his car, containing two butane gas bottles, into the PP offices in Madrid.

“I wanted to carry out an attack against politicians because they are all the same. I could have just as well attacked any other party,” he reportedly told police after being detained.

Berlanga, who is undergoing treatment for schizophrenia and drug addiction and has a criminal record for robbery, drove a Citroën Xantia at high speed into the building located on Calle Genova in Madrid – and nearly ran over a cleaning lady in the process – in an apparent attempt to blow it up.

Inside his car the police found two butane gas bottles, several kilos of ammonium nitrate, a timer and a homemade ignition device. However, the explosive device he built was not likely to explode because of how it was made, said police. But it appears he had been planning the attack for several days.

He lost his job back in May after being laid off and fruitlessly tried to start working as a security guard.

This single and childless 37-year-old lives with his parents in Bronchales, where his father was mayor from 2003 and 2007. His mother works in a hotel.

His neighbours describe him as a people person with strong ties in the community. Mayor Francisco Nacher lives near his house and runs into him once or twice a day. He last saw him on Thursday. “We would have never imagined something like this would happen. We are all in shock,” he said.

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