Catalonia hosts half of the 20 refugees newly arrived in Spain

May 24, 2016 02:41 PM | ACN

Three Syrian families, including 4 minors, make up the 10 refugees which will be relocated to Catalonia. They are part of a group of 20 people which arrived this Tuesday in Madrid. 44 more people, expected to arrive on the 30th of May, will follow this first group and 19 more will arrive on the 1st of June. 67 more are due to arrive in Spain by the end of June. In addition, 50 more refugees from Italy will begin to be hosted in Spain shortly, of which 18 are already in Spain as part of a pilot programme. In total, 586 people will be relocated to Spain by the end of June, according to the current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz. Thus, Spain will become the fourth European country in terms of number of refugees hosted, but so far it only hosts 18 refugees of the 16,000 it has agreed to relocate. 

Jihadist cell which "wanted to attack" uncovered by Catalan Police

April 9, 2015 01:58 AM | ACN

The Catalan Police Force, Mossos d'Esquadra, detained on Wednesday in several cities across Greater Barcelona 11 people who were allegedly forming an Islamic terrorist cell. The cell was "operational" and "wanted to attack in Catalonia", according to the Catalan Minister for Home Affairs, Ramon Espadaler. The alleged terrorists were "clearly connected to the Islamic State" and "supported its ideology", emphasised Espadaler. The cell "had 3 objectives": "recruiting young people and radicalising them", "sending some of these young people to Syria and Iraq", and preparing an attack in Catalonia. Despite this information, Espadaler highlighted that "at no time has this cell generated any kind of danger, as it has been under investigation and police surveillance for the last 13 months".

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

March 13, 2015 10:10 PM | 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 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.

Journalist Marc Marginedas back in Barcelona after 6 months of captivity in Syria

March 3, 2014 07:16 PM | ACN

On Sunday evening, almost 6 months after having been kidnapped in Syria, Marc Marginedas, El Periódico de Catalunya’s war correspondent, arrived at Barcelona El Prat Airport in a plane of the Spanish Air Force. The journalist was “in good health”, according to the Spanish Government. Marginedas was able to cross the border between Syria and Turkey, where he boarded the plane after having been freed in the middle of the night on Saturday. He was welcomed back by his family, the Director of El Periódico, Enric Hernández, the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, and the Spanish Executive’s Delegate in Catalonia, María de los Llanos de Luna. Catalan Ricard Garcia Vilanova and Andalusian Javier Espinosa are still in captivity in Syria; there are around 30 international reporters and 100 local journalists still held prisoner in the Arab country.

Catalan company applies for Syrian chemical weapon destruction contract without City Council approval

January 27, 2014 08:28 PM | ACN / Heidi M. Eskildsen

SITA Ibérica, a Catalan company located in Martorell, close to Barcelona, is one of the fourteen companies to have submitted a petition to destroy 500 tons of chemical weapons from Syria. But the submission was made without the prior knowledge of the Martorell City Council, which opposes the idea to destroy weapons in the Martorell area. The winner of the contest will be announced in early February by the UN body which is responsible for the destruction of the weapons.

Another Catalan journalist is kidnapped in Syria

December 10, 2013 03:11 PM | ACN

Freelance photojournalist Ricard Garcia has been kidnapped in the Syrian province of Raqqa together with El Mundo reporter Javier Espinosa by a group related to Al-Qaeda. On the 4th September, the Catalan Marc Marginedas, reporter from El Periódico, was also kidnapped in Syria. Barcelona-born Garcia and Málaga-born Espinosa have been missing since the 16th September near the Tal Abyad checkpoint. However, the news had not been announced until this Tuesday, when El Mundo published the information. They were kidnapped near the Turkish border together with 4 soldiers of Ahfad al Moustapha, one of the brigades of the Free Syrian Army, who were supposed to protect them. The 4 soldiers were released 12 days after they were taken away, but not the 2 journalists. Marginedas also remains in captivity.