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TERRORISM

France indicts six ETA suspects

French anti-terrorism judges on Saturday indicted six suspected ETA members described as the logistical core of the Basque separatist group, a judicial source said.

France indicts six ETA suspects
French police arrested six members of Basque separist group ETA last week. Photo: AFP

The six, who were arrested on May 7th in a sweep Spain said had brought ETA close to being wiped out, were remanded in custody, the source said.

They face charges of "financing terrorism", "criminal conspiracy linked to terrorism" and are also being investigated for possessing arms and fake documents.

Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz had said the arrests were "a very important step towards the dismantling of ETA", listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and United States.

The group is blamed for 829 deaths in a four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings for independence for the Basque Country of northern Spain and southwestern France.

It declared in October 2011 a "definitive end" to its armed activity but has not formally disarmed or disbanded as the Spanish government demands.

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TERRORISM

Three suspected jihadists held in Barcelona

A court in Spain on Monday remanded in custody three suspected members of Islamic State arrested last week in Barcelona, including an Algerian man who had fought for the Islamist group in Iraq.

Three suspected jihadists held in Barcelona
Archive photo of a suspected jihadist arrested near Barcelona. Photo: AFP

Spanish authorities began their investigation after becoming aware just before Christmas that the “potentially dangerous” Algerian man was in Spain, police said in a statement.   

The man, a “jihadist” who had fought for the Islamic State group in Iraq, was arrested at a building occupied by squatters in Barcelona's seaside neighbourhood of Barceloneta, the statement added.

Police detained two other Algerian men as part of the operation, one suspected of giving him “logistical support” in Spain and another described by police as has “acolyte”.

The operation was carried out in cooperation with European Union law enforcement agency Europol and the FBI, as well as the intelligence services of Spain and Algeria, the statement said.

The three men appeared before a court on Monday where the presiding judge ordered they be remanded in custody on suspicion of membership in a terrorist organisation.

Their arrest comes as the trial of three men accused of helping the jihadists behind the August 2017 attacks in Barcelona and a nearby town that killed 16 people is wrapping up at a court near Madrid.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks, one of which involved a van ramming people in the centre of Barcelona.   

While none of the three men on trial are charged with direct responsibility, they are in the dock for helping the attackers, who were all shot dead by police.

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