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Alleged Islamic State-affiliated cell identified in Spain; 6 arrests in Catalonia

On Friday, the Spanish Police Force arrested 8 people in an operation against Jihadist terrorism. Six of the arrests were carried out in Catalonia (in Figueres, Malgrat de Mar, Manlleu, Piera, l'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Terrassa), while the remaining 2 were made in the provinces of Ávila and Ciudad Real. The detainees were allegedly spreading Islamic State propaganda, which was being co-ordinated from Syria and Iraq by the terrorist organisation. In addition, they may have also been in charge of recruiting people to fight in Syria and Iraq and to commit terrorist attacks in Spain. All 8 have Spanish nationality and 5 are of Moroccan origin. The 6 people arrested in Catalonia have been moved from Barcelona to the Madrid-based 'Audiencia Nacional' Court with 3 vans and 7 cars in order to testify and to be put under judicial custody.

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13 March 2015 10:10 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- On Friday, the Spanish Police Force arrested 8 people in an operation against Jihadist terrorism. Six of the arrests were carried out in Catalonia (in Figueres, Malgrat de Mar, Manlleu, Piera, l'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Terrassa), while the remaining 2 were made in the provinces of Ávila and Ciudad Real. The detainees were allegedly spreading Islamic State propaganda, which was being co-ordinated from Syria and Iraq by the terrorist organisation. In addition, they may also have been in charge of recruiting people to fight in Syria and Iraq and to commit terrorist attacks in Spain. All 8 have Spanish nationality and 5 are of Moroccan origin. The 6 people arrested in Catalonia have been moved from Barcelona to the Madrid-based 'Audiencia Nacional' with 3 vans and 7 cars in order to testify and to be put under judicial custody. According to the Spanish Home Affairs Ministry, the group posed a "serious and continuous" threat. In addition to the arrests, the Spanish police officers have conducted 8 house searches. The counter-terrorism operation, which is still ongoing, has been co-ordinated by the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Madrid-based Court and Javier Gómez Bermúdez, the judge of the Audiencia Nacional's Investigation Court No. 3.


According to the Spanish Home Affairs Ministry, the eight people arrested were part of a "very well organised structure" which was affiliated to the Islamic State, followed its main principles and acted in a delocalised and autonomous way. The alleged terrorist cell is said to have customised its strategy for a Spanish audience, translating the content of the propaganda material and addressing North African immigrants with little or no knowledge of Arabic.

An important task of the alleged terrorist group was to put in contact aspiring fighters on Spanish soil with members of the IS leadership, in order to arrange their entry into the IS-controlled territories of Syria and Iraq. In addition to this, the alleged terrorist cell conducted active campaigns aimed at recruiting new followers and inciting terrorism acts within Spain.

The six people arrested in Catalonia were transferred to the Spanish Police's Verneda station in Barcelona. Last to arrive was the woman arrested in Malgrat de Mar (a coastal town located about 60 km north of Barcelona) where the police operation lasted until around 2 a.m. In the early afternoon, a police motorcade formed by 3 vans and 7 sedans with the six alleged terrorists left Barcelona for the Madrid-based Court. There, prisoners will be in the hands of the judiciary which will be in charge of collecting their declarations.

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  • Spanish Police vans and cars transporting Islamic terrorism suspects (by G. Sánchez)

  • Spanish Police vans and cars transporting Islamic terrorism suspects (by G. Sánchez)
Alleged Islamic State-affiliated cell identified in Spain; 6 arrests in Catalonia