• Spain's news in English
Catalan teachers told how to spot jihadis in the classroom
Photo: AFP

Catalan teachers told how to spot jihadis in the classroom

Fiona Govan · 29 Mar 2016, 11:28

Published: 29 Mar 2016 11:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Authorities are keen to learn lessons from recent terror attacks In Paris and Belgium and ensure a system is in place to pick up on students who may have been radicalized and are planning attacks.

Catalonia’s regional government is finalizing plans developed by specialist anti-terrorist unit of the Mossos d’Esquadra to train teachers to keep watch for Islamic extremism, said Jordi Jané, the head of Catalonia’s regional interior ministry.

Teachers will be considered key in detecting the threat from home-grown jihadists who are inspired to join the so called ISIS terror group to launch attacks within Europe.

READ MORE: Who are Spain's jihadists?

According to the guidelines reported in El Mundo, teachers will be told to report changes in behaviour among students such as; becoming shy and introverted, adopting traditional styles of Islamic dress or refusing to join in sports or cultural activities for "religious reasons".

The guidelines also advise how to monitor if students are accessing jihadist propaganda on school computers and to raise the alarm if students talk about leaving school to travel abroad.

Catalonia is considered a flashpoint in Spain for Islamic extremism as it is home to the highest concentration of Muslim immigrants within Spain and has numerous mosques with links to the Salafi movement, which advocates a fundamentalist approach to Islam.

An estimated 75,000 Muslim students attend state-schools in Catalonia, representing around five percent of the 1.5million school pupils in the region.

The new guidelines are part of Spain’s Special Operational Anti-terrorist Plan which was activated in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris in January last year when the terror alert level was raised in Spain to four out of a maximum five.

A programme to screen prisoners for radicalization inside Spain’s jails is already being implemented.

Education authorities in Brussels reportedly failed to act on concerns that a student who went on to become one of the Paris suicide bombers showed signs of radicalization in the classroom.

Story continues below…

Bilal Hadfi, 20, who blew himself up outside the Stade de France in Paris on November 13th, had reportedly expressed extremist views at the Abbessens-Funck college in Brussels before dropping out to join ISIS in Syria.

An investigation has been launched as to why no further action was taken after teachers said that had reportedly informed the education board of their fears that Hadfi had been radicalized and was travelling to Syria.

During 2015, anti-terrorist agents arrested 98 suspected jihadists according to information provided by Spain's Interior Ministry.

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

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
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
jobs available