The man who crashed his car into the Madrid headquarters of Spain’s ruling Popular Party on Friday morning had spent several days planning his attack. Daniel Pérez Berlanga, 37, from Bronchales in Teruel, considered the government to be to blame for his troubles. He has been unemployed since May after being fired in a mass layoff plan at the wood company where he worked.
According to sources close to the investigation, the man has been receiving treatment for schizophrenia and drug dependency. He is reported to have spent recent days locked away in his apartment, which is next door to that of his parents, researching homemade explosives on the internet.
Pérez Berlanga is reported to have purchased ammonium nitrate, a substance that is easily obtained given its use as a fertilizer, and put together a device using two gas canisters and a rudimentary detonator made with match heads.
Pérez Berlanga spent last night drinking in bars in his village, and in the early hours of this morning headed off in his car towards Madrid. “If it had detonated, it would have been very dangerous, and would have caused significant damage,” a National Police bomb-disposal expert said on Friday. The suspect is now being held in a police station in the capital, and could face terrorism charges.