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Two jihadists held in Spain for plotting terrorist attacks

Spanish police have arrested two men accused of plotting to carry out an Isis-inspired attack in Europe.

Two jihadists held in Spain for plotting terrorist attacks
The men were inspired by Isis to plan the attacks. Photo: AFP

Spain’s interior ministry said that had arrested two men of Moroccan origin who were working together on plans to carry out a terrorist attack.

One of the men had recently travelled to Turkey in an attempt to cross the border into Syria to join the so-called Islamic State in order to receive training before returning to Europe to carry out an attack.

“He’d made plans to secretly travel to the Syrian border, make contact with Daesh who would transfer him to a confict zone,” said the statement released by the Interior Ministry.

“Once there he planned to undergo intense training in weapons and explosives with the aim of returning to Europe to carry out terrorist actions.”

But the man was arrested by Turkish police before crossing the border and on his release was returned to Spain where he continued to conspire with the other detained man to carry out his plan.

“Both men shared the same jihadist principles,” said the statement.

The men were detained in the cities of Valladolid, northern Spain and Murcia in the south.

 

 

 

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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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