Detainees Plotted Bombing in Spain, Judge Says


MADRID — Ten men arrested in Barcelona on Saturday on suspicion of planning a suicide attack on the city’s public transportation system had intended to carry out the bombing last weekend, a Spanish judge said Wednesday in court documents ordering the men to remain in jail.

The detainees, most of them Pakistanis, were part of an “organized group” that was planning to attack Jan. 18 through Jan. 20, Judge Ismael Moreno of Spain’s National Court wrote.

The detainees include three potential suicide bombers, at least two of them Pakistanis who came to Spain in the past few months, the judge wrote.

He questioned the 10 suspects on Wednesday in the Madrid court, then charged all with belonging to a terrorist organization and some with possession of explosives.

Four others arrested Saturday were released without charge.

Judge Moreno said several suspects were arrested Saturday during a meeting at an unofficial mosque in Barcelona, where the police found materials that could be used in explosives, including nitrocellulose and timers.

However, the materials confiscated in raids Saturday were small quantities that were not “guaranteed to cause damage,” Judge Moreno said. They could have been used to teach plotters how to build a bomb, he said.

On Tuesday, prominent Pakistanis called for the release of the 14 detainees, saying most of them were known in the community and had no history of violence.

But Judge Moreno said the suspects’ interrogation and testimony from a protected witness revealed a picture of a structured group of spiritual leaders, explosives experts and the potential suicide bombers.

The group had acquired the “necessary human capacity to operate and was close to acquiring the technical capacity in terms of explosive devices,” he wrote in the court order.

Its members were followers of the Muslim revivalist movement Tabligh Jamaat, the judge said. The movement professes to espouse a benign, apolitical strain of Islam, but Western intelligence agencies suspect it of recruiting jihadists.

According to court documents, the Barcelona group was led by Maroof Ahmed Mirza, 38, and Mohammad Ayud Elahi Bibi, 36, both Pakistanis and the members most well versed in Islam. Hafeez Ahmed, 39, a Pakistani who spent five months in Pakistan last year, was alleged to be in charge of making and handling explosives.

The court accused Mohammad Shoaib, 25, and Mehmood Khalid, 27, both Pakistanis, and Imram Cheema, whose age and nationality were not given, of being the potential suicide bombers. It said they came in recent months from Germany, Sweden and Portugal.

2014 united copts .org
Copyright © 2023 United Copts. All Rights Reserved.
Website Maintenance by: