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Ten ‘Islamic radicals’ held

15 September 2004

BARCELONA – Spanish police arrested ten people suspected of involvement in Islamic extremism during an operation in the north-eastern region of Catalonia on Wednesday, the local police force said.

The suspects, all understood to be Pakistani, were all arrested in Barcelona.

Police raided a number of houses and flats. No arms or explosives were found in the raids, police said.

Twenty suspects have been arrested in relation to the 11 March attacks by a group allied to al-Qaeda, in which 191 people were killed.

Most of those who have been arrested are Moroccans and none was a Pakistani national.

A police spokesman said the Pakistani suspects arrested Wednesday “could have
financed radical organisations outside Spain’s borders”.

Judicial sources said they were sifting through documents to determine “the
contours and the methods pertaining to this collaboration”.

Legal sources in Madrid said police had not discovered any weapons or explosives but only documents including false identity papers as well as “books on (Al-Qaeda leader Osama) Bin Laden.”

Five of the Pakistanis were detained in the northern Barcelona district of Trinitat Vella and five more in the central “Barrio chino” or Chinese district, where there is a concentration of Pakistanis.

Sixteen suspected Islamic radicals from North Africa were arrested in the Catalonia region of eastern Spain in January last year but released for lack of evidence three months later.

Four of them, all Algerians, were arrested once more and charged last March with belonging to a terrorist organisation, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), a sub-section of the Islamic Armed Group.

The operation carried out Wednesday was ordered by high court judge Ismael Moreno.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news