Anti-Terrorist Operation In Spain Snares Four ‘Jihadists’ In Granada, Barcelona and Madrid

Image of suspected jihadist being arrested in Spain.

Image of suspected jihadist being arrested in Spain. Credit: Twitter@policia

AS the result of an anti-terrorist operation conducted by Spain’s National Police, four suspected jihadists have been arrested.

As reported in a statement from the force this Friday, October 20, the suspects were detained for ‘proselytism and jihadist recruitment’. The arrests took place in the Granada municipality of Huetor-Tajar, Cubelles in Barcelona, ​​and Madrid.

Among those already handed over to the Central Court of Instruction No5 of the National Court was a man nicknamed ‘Caliph’.

He allegedly recruited young people through the internet, including a married couple and a fourth ‘indoctrinated’ individual. A judge ordered the imprisonment of three of them.

The police statement confirmed that the detainees were ‘linked through closed social media groups’, and had gone through a radicalization process.

Carried out with the support of EUROPOL, the operation involved the General Information Commissioner’s Office and the Provincial Information Brigades of the three localities where the arrests occurred.

An operation was initiated in 2022

After detecting the online activities of a man who used the pseudonym ‘Califa’, an operation against these individuals was launched in 2022.

‘Califa’ was the alleged: ‘creator and administrator of several groups in which he tried to indoctrinate young people in the jihadist creed’.

He was said to be in charge of ‘invigorating’ his followers and creating private groups to which he invited radicals he trusted to speak openly about the terrorist cause.

The groups were monitored by the investigators

These groups were regularly monitored by the police, which allowed progress in the investigation and the subsequent identification of other members.

Although they did not always know each other physically, the group’s members were connected through the network and all of them were ‘young people’.

Two of these young people strengthened ties and, after gaining the approval of the ‘Caliph’, they married and moved in together.

‘This new relationship represented a turning point in the investigation,’ explained the police statement. A significant increase in the radicalisation of these two individuals was soon detected.

At one point, they reportedly recorded videos in which they spoke of ‘spreading blood to recover Al Andalus and restore the Caliphate’.

In light of the recent instability in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas, this latest operation was conducted in complete secrecy.

Spain has been at an anti-terror level four out of five since 2015

Since 2015, Spain has maintained a level four out of five anti-terrorist alert level. Following the Hamas attack against Israel on October 7, the Interior Ministry ordered police reinforcements in certain ‘sensitive’ areas. These included several embassies and facilities related to the Jewish community.

Another operation is ongoing to monitor 12 individuals who resided in Spain but left to fight for the Islamic State. They have since returned and are currently free.

All 12 of them fall into the category of ‘returned foreign terrorist fighter’, a title that appears in several resolutions of the United Nations Security Council as ‘a serious threat to their States of origin’.

Islamic State called for attacks to be launched across the globe

Following the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist organisation launched a call to its followers to commit attacks around the world, to which individuals in France and Belgium responded.

A man of Chechen nationality cut the throat of a high school teacher in the French city of Arras last Friday 13, while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.

In Brussels, an alleged Islamic State fighter carried out an armed attack, killing two people and wounding a taxi driver.

In view of the war between Israel and Hamas, and after the commission of both attacks, the member states of the EU agreed on Thursday to activate the Integrated Political Crisis Response mechanism. This will periodically monitor the impact of the conflict on the security of member states.

The concern of the 27 states regarding a possible increase in ‘radicalisation and polarisation’ on European soil was confirmed during the Council of Interior Ministers held in Brussels.

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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