A group of Islamist extremists in Frankfurt were planning an attack in Germany, according to a would-be suicide bomber captures in Spain. Testimony from the informant, who was captured after he arrived in Barcelona on January 16th, led to the arrest of 14 South Asians after he told police an Islamist extremist cell planned to attack the city’s metro and other targets in Europe. He also told police that the members were to travel to Frankfurt to meet up with a group planning an attack. However, the plan was changed, and another member of the Barcelona cell, Akeel Abassi, was sent to Frankfurt alone on January 18th; Abassi is currently being sought by police.
As Barcelona officials assured the public that the city’s subway system is safe, the 14 recently arrested suspects are believed to have had plans to hit public transportation targets in several European cities. Authorities believe three of those arrested were prepared to carry out suicide bombings. Spanish police believe that three suspects remain on the loose, and may be trying to travel to Germany and France to stage attacks there. Of the 14 originally arrested, ten remain and jail, and four have been released.
The recent arrests of 12 Pakistanis and two Indians in Barcelona have sparked a mixture of disbelief, indignation, and sadness among the city’s 25,000 Pakistanis. Since 2004, more than 70 people, including a number of Pakistanis, have been arrested in Catalonia on suspected Islamist militant links. The Pakistani community is worried that the message that this part of Spain is not a terrorist hotbed is not being heard. About 10,000 of Barcelona’s Pakistani community are concentrated in the barrio of El Raval, in the heart of the old city. The neighborhood has the highest levels of immigration and poverty in Barcelona.
Islamist terrorism is back in Europe after Spain arrested a group of terror suspects and Germany warned its Jewish community of concrete attack plans. Spanish authorities over the weekend arrested 14 terror suspects and searched several buildings in Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city. Police said the group, which included 12 Pakistanis, an Indian and a Bangladeshi, was planning a terror attack in Barcelona. Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, Spain’s interior minister, said the detainees belonged to a “well-organized group that had gone a step beyond radicalization.” Authorities confiscated explosives and four timing devices, Rubalcaba said. “When someone has timers in their home, you have no option but to think violent acts are being planned,” he said. Spanish authorities got tips from foreign intelligence services, the interior minister said, and Spanish newspapers have since reported it was a hint from Pakistan that triggered the raids. The arrests come less than two months before Spain faces its general elections on March 9. Stefan Nicola repots.
Fourteen suspected Islamic militants were arrested in Spain on January 19th, and may have been planning a terrorist act in Barcelona, according to interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba. Rubalcaba said more arrests were expected, and the country was on high security alert. Searches of the suspects’ homes uncovered suspicious material, including four timers. Those arrested include 12 Pakistani nationals and two persons from India. Civil guard officers made the arrests as part of raids planned in connection to the National Intelligence Center.
Approximately 40 illegal Algerian immigrants escaped from a shelter in Barcelona on Friday. The escapees seized the opportunity of fires in the shelter, as guards were busy trying to extinguish the flames. The conditions of the shelter are rumored to be very poor, and the fires were intentionally set by those seeking to escape from the shelter, which serves to house illegal immigrants.
Eight of the thirty-five illegal immigrants who escaped from an internment camp in Barcelona’s Zona Franca district were re-captured. The internment camp serves those who await deportation for not having the proper paperwork. The escape occurred as a group effort to force open a door; Police are searching for twenty-seven escaped immigrants who are still at large.
MADRID – Spanish police arrested two Pakistani men accused of financing terrorist groups in Spain and other countries following an investigation involving the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, authorities said on Friday. The officials said the men were taken into custody in Madrid and Barcelona. Searches of the men’s property turned up more than EUR 50,000 worth of bank transactions and cash. A two-year investigation in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation also found evidence that more than EUR 1 million flowed from the drug trade and other criminal actions to terrorist groups.
Taking advantage of the holiday and the beginning of the Ramadan, many Moroccan citizens have gathered in front of the consulate of their country in Barcelona to take care of legal issues. These lines are now routine since the embassy opened a year ago. This consulate serves the entire region of Catalonia, the Spanish Mediterranean islands and part of France, which explains the long lines and complaints of the Moroccan citizens of delays in service.
The president of the Intercultura, Yonaida Sel-lam, Hill participate this weekend in the Second International Meeting about Islamic Feminism celebrated in Barcelona and organized by the Junta Isl_mica de Catalu_a, together with the Generalitat de Catalu_a, the Concejal_a de la Mujer del Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, the Institut Europeo de la Mediterr_nea, the Fundaci_n Pluralismo y Convivencia and the Junta Isl_mica de Espa_a. This initiative aims to give continuity to the task of the First Meeting, which is to advertise the emergent feminine Islamic movement to the transnational promotion of gender equality. The participants are intellectual Islamic women (Sahin Sardar Al_, Law Professor of the University of Peshawar; the American Margot Badran, the Indonesian Lily Zakiyah Munir) working subjects such as abortion, polygamy, divorce, violence, sexual rights, family planning and leadership in countries like Morocco, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria or Indonesia.