Eleven Muslims were arrested in Catalonia early today in a raid against a jihadist cell that is believed to have been planning an attack in the northeastern region.
El Pais (h/t Maria J) The suspects are 10 men and a woman all aged between 17 and 45. Five of them are Spanish citizens, five hail from Morocco and one is from Paraguay.
Besides recruiting new combatants for Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, the group constituted “an operative cell that was intending to carry out attacks in Catalonia,” said the Catalan chief of internal affairs, Ramon Espadaler, in a press conference. The number of arrests could rise as the day progresses, said Espadaler.
All three were Catalonia residents, and the police investigation discovered evidence that a new group of terrorists was not only trying to send more youths to Syria, but also planning an attack on Spanish soil. Catalonia is one of the Spanish regions that has seen the most police operations against jihadism.
So far this year, 29 arrests have been made, without counting today’s detentions.
According to ministry figures, of the 1,264 mosques in Spain, around 100 follow the most radical current of Islam, Salafism. Of these, half are located in Catalonia