Spain, France in tussle over handling of alleged terror plot in Barcelona

After police and security forces arrested several men and seized bomb-making material in Jan. 19 raids on a mosque and four other homes, Spain’s attorney general said they had stopped an imminent attack. Spanish authorities, however, quickly backed off that, acknowledging that the amount of explosives seized was very small. What is clear, however, is that the case has created problems between Spanish and French intelligence services. The Barcelona plot was uncovered thanks to a French secret agent identified as F-1, who arrived on a train from France to join the cell. A French security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the intelligence, told The Associated Press that counterterrorism teams in France had expressed “astonishment” about the way Spanish authorities had handled the case. French authorities questions whether handlers of the case in Barcelona had jeopardized other investigations, elsewhere.