Jihadist arrested in Girona planned to machine-gun tourists on Benidorm beaches

Image of police officers arresting the suspected jihadist in Girona. Credit: Twitter@policia

A jihadist arrested in Girona had planned to, among other things, machine-gun tourists on the Costa Blanca beaches of Benidorm.


As reported by Spain’s Ministry of the Interior today, Friday, January 27, a jihadist arrested in the city of Girona last Wednesday 25, intended to carry out a massive machine-gunning of tourists in the Benidorm beaches.

Fath Allah Benhachem Gharrass, a 23-year-old Spanish national of Moroccan origin was jailed today without bail by Ismael Moreno, the head of the National Court’s Investigating Court No2.

The arrest of Benhachem was a direct result of a warning from the FBI in America. They warned the Spanish security forces of his degree of radicalism and proselytism in favour of Daesh on social networks. He was also known to be active on the Dark Web, the deep network used by criminals and delinquents which is beyond the reach of the majority of internet users.

Specialised National Police and Guardia Civil officers carried out the operation during which the jihadist was detained in the Santa Eugenia neighbourhood of Girona.

Benhachem was arrested only a few hours before another attack occurred in Algeciras where a suspected Moroccan jihadist killed a priest in a church and stabbed a sexton with a machete.

It is believed that his intention was to record himself machine-gunning bathers on the beaches in Benidorm on the Costa Blanca and then post the footage on social media networks of the Islamic State. The tourist hotspot is an emblematic location of the LGTBI movement.

FBI agents monitored the different aliases he used online – such as ‘Daniel Lofti0’, and ‘Pipa4545’ – which was what revealed his plans to attack the well-known Alicante tourist town on behalf of Daesh.

Further monitoring of his online conversations revealed that Benhachem had already made contact with another radical via the black market, alias ‘Karim el Maghrebi’, to acquire weapons.

These allegedly included AK-47 rifles, Glock-brand 9-millimetre pistols and belts for explosives. Sources explained that although his negotiations were well advanced, he had not yet made any purchases of firearms.

The detainee often reportedly criticised Moroccan citizens in Spain for their westernisation although no plans were uncovered that showed he intended to attack them.

He was also fond of watching videos showing the execution of jihadist attacks in Europe according to the Ministry. On the very day of his arrest, he is said to have earlier searched for how to carry out stabbings and attacks carried out with bladed weapons.

Although no substances were discovered during a search of his home, the detainee was known to have downloaded manuals online with which to train himself in the use of weapons and explosives.

Spain’s Ministry of the Interior praised the excellent work of the FBI in providing them with the tipoff about Benhachem. Their information played: “an essential role in the identification and neutralisation of this alleged terrorist”, they said, as reported by lajioja.com.

The anti-terrorist services insisted today that the detainee: “was in an advanced process of jihadist radicalisation and had a profile of great violence and aggressiveness”. In fact, the ministry itself highlighted that: “during the practice of the different proceedings, the detainee has shown his distrust and arrogant rejection of the participating officers”.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com