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Paragliding terrorist arrested in Spain

George Mills · 9 Aug 2013, 15:03

Published: 09 Aug 2013 15:03 GMT+02:00

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Cengiz Yalzin was nabbed in Malaga on Wednesday after allegedly attacking two Turkish security agents who had been trailing him since he was released on bail by Spanish authorities in April 2013.

He was detained in custody and will now go before a judge, Spain's ABC newspaper reported on Friday. 

Yalzin, a former employee of a Gibraltar construction firm, was originally arrested in 2012 along with the Russian nationals Eldar Magomedov and Muhamed Magomedov on suspicion of helping the two Chechens plans an attack on Gibraltar.

That attack is thought to have been timed to coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The men had been seen flying a motorized paraglider over the British territory for several weeks, Spanish police sources said at the time.

But the group's plans were thwarted when Spanish police arrested Yalzin in his apartment in the Andalusian town of La Línea de la Concepción, which borders Gibraltar. 

Police found manuals for flying light aircraft and an enough explosive material "to blow up a bus", Spain's Foreign Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said at the time.

The two Chechens, meanwhile, were arrested as they fled by bus for France.

The three men were then released in April 2013 pending terrorism changes because Spanish authorities did not have enough evidence to detain them.

But all three are still being investigated by the secret services of various countries for suspected continued links to the Al-Qaeda terror organization, ABC newspaper said on Friday.

The three men were allegedly planning other attacks on Spain and other European nations by using remote-controlled aeroplanes.

Story continues below…

"There is a clear indication that those arrested could have been planning an attack in Spain and/or in Europe," the Spanish Interior Minister, said at a news conference in 2012.

"These are extremely dangerous people. This is one of the biggest investigations which has been carried out up until now against the Al-Qaeda terrorist group at an international level."

During the original hearing, the Spanish judge praised police in Gibraltar for their assistance in the case.

Yalzin was also seized in May 2013 in Gibraltar and sent back to Spain as an undocumented immigrant, authorities in Gibraltar said.

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

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