Spanish police hold 13 over Al-Qaeda links

21st May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Police in northern Spain have arrested 13 suspected Islamic militants linked to Al-Qaeda's branch in north Africa.

Madrid – Police in northern Spain have arrested 13 suspected Islamic militants linked to Al-Qaeda's branch in north Africa, police sources and Spanish media said Wednesday.

Police also searched the homes of those arrested in the operation, which was launched during the night in the Basque city of Bilbao and is ongoing, they said.

They said the operation was "linked to Al-Qaeda" but gave no further details.

Spanish media said those held were Algerians and Moroccans suspected of financing Al-Qaeda's branch in north Africa.

Early last year, Spanish police arrested 15 Islamic radicals, most of them Pakistanis, suspected of planning an attack in the northeastern city of Barcelona.

In June 2008, eight suspected militants linked to Al-Qaeda's north African branch were arrested in Barcelona, in the eastern town of Castellon and in Pamplona in the north.

Previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Algeria including a spate of bombings in August that left more than 50 people dead.

AFP / Expatica

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