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TERRORISM

Paragliding terrorist arrested in Spain

A Turkish terror suspect who allegedly helped facilitate a thwarted attack on a Gibraltar military installation in 2012 has been re-arrested by Spanish police in Malaga.

Paragliding terrorist arrested in Spain
Turkish national Cengiz Yalzin was allegedly helping two men plan a terror attack on Gibraltar to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics. Photo: Wikimedia

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.

"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.

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TECHNOLOGY

Malaga to trial Spain’s first self-driving bus

Spain’s first self-driving bus will begin to take public passengers from this Saturday, February 20th.

Malaga to trial Spain's first self-driving bus
Image: Largeroliker / WikiCommons

Created as part of the AutoMOST R + D + I project in participation with Avanza bus company and Malaga City Council, the 12-metre electric bus features autonomous driving technology and will be a revolutionary addition to the transport system.

The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, companied by the president of the Port of Malaga Authority, Carlos Rubio, and the general director of Avanza, Valentin Alonso were the first to ride in this driverless bus.

Mayor de la Torre said “Malaga has been a pioneer in creating ways to improve life in the city”. “We were also the first city to implement contactless cards on buses,” he added.

The self-driving bus is the first of its kind to circulate in real traffic and will be in operation on line 90 from the Maritime Station in the port area to the Paseo del Parque in the front of the City Hall.

Malaga will become the first European city to implement this new autonomous driving technology in a bus, which is also environmentally friendly, run fully on electricity and which produces zero emissions.

The city council said in a statement that this move reinforces Malaga’s commitment to sustainable mobility and the use of new technologies adapted to transport.

In previous projects, self-driving tests have only been carried out using smaller vehicles, not the standard 12-metre buses that are in daily circulation around the city.

12-metre buses are the world standard, so in theory it will be possible to implement this same type of technology in other models of the same size around the world.

In order for the technology to work, Malaga City Council has invested 180,000 euros in smart traffic lights, which communicate with the bus telling it when to go and stop.

Initially the self-driving bus will run for three weeks, but the traffic lights will remain in place, allowing for the implementation of other self-driving systems in the future, such as driverless cars.

For the next three weeks, residents can ride the self-driving bus completely free of charge. It will operate from Saturday February 20th to March 13th, from Tuesdays to Saturdays 9:30am to 2:30pm.

You can book a ticket on the bus in advance by visiting www.emtmalaga.es

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