Galician town mourns victim of London terror attack

Aysha Frade, a 43-year-old mother of two with family in Spain, was named as one of the victims in the terrorist attack in London on Wednesday.

Galician town mourns victim of London terror attack
Photo: AFP

The Spanish teacher was mowed down as she walked across Westminister Bridge on Wednesday afternoon after finishing work at a language school near the Houses of Parliament.

The town of Betanzos in Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia was reeling from the news that one of its own had died in London after the tragic news was shared on social media on Wednesday evening.

Born Aysha Ahmet Caldelas, she was the daughter of a Cypriot father and Galician mother who spent her annual holidays in the town of Betanzos, where her two elder sisters run a language academy.

She was born in London and made her life there after marrying her Portuguese husband with whom she had two daughters, aged 11 and eight. According to La Voz de Galicia, she worked as head of department and taught Spanish at DLD College London, which is located on Westminster Bridge Road.

News that one of the victims of the attack had links to Galicia spread fast after children arriving for afterschool classes at the Betanzos school on Wednesday were turned away and parents told of the tragedy.

A notice was posted on the community facebook page. “Betanzos with London. we have lost a daughter of Betanzos, poor Aysha, I have a broken heart. My sincerest condolences.

Friends who live in the town posted comments expressing shock and sending their condolences to the family.

Spain's government offices in Moncloa will be holding a minute's silence at midday for the vicitms of the attack.


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.