• Spain's news in English

Madrid terrorist suspect ran Isis cell planning massacres in Spain

AFP/The Local · 28 Aug 2015, 10:19

Published: 28 Aug 2015 10:19 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The suspect, a Moroccan national called Abdeladim Achriaa, had lived in Spain for years but was arrested on Tuesday in a joint Spanish-Moroccan police operation south of Madrid that targeted alleged supporters of the Islamic State group.

Achriaa applied for bail but National Court judge Juan Pablo Gonzalez rejected his request on Thursday, saying he posed a flight risk and ordering him to be kept behind bars while the investigation continues.

"Abdeladim was coordinating the members of a Syrian-Iraqi affiliate of Islamic State deployed in several cities in Morocco," the judge wrote after questioning Achriaa in court.

The aim was for them to eventually join Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, he said, noting that Achriaa had several Facebook profiles, one of which gave his name as 'salami Jihadi'.

Officials in Madrid and Rabat said the network sought to recruit IS jihadists to join the fighting in Iraq and Syria and also to carry out attacks in Spain and Morocco.

"They were aiming to mimic in Spain and Morocco the massacres carried out by Islamic State members with the intention of creating a climate of mass panic and instability," the Spanish Interior Ministry said following the arrests.

During Tuesday's arrest operation, police in Morocco also arrested another 13 people in Fez, Casablanca, Nador, Al Hoceima and Driouech as part of the same investigation.

One of them was the father of a woman called Hafsa Azaoum, who is Achriaa's partner. Five of Azaoum's brothers have gone to Syria to fight for the IS jihadists, the judge said.

Story continues below…

Tuesday's arrests came just days after passengers on a crowded Paris-bound train tackled and disarmed a heavily-armed Moroccan man who used to live in Spain, halting what authorities say could have been a bloodbath.

Spain is on 'high alert' for a terrorist attack, at level four on a scale of five, that from this week will be published on the Interior Ministry website.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available