Arrested In Spain: Jihadist With 400,000 Followers

Police Arrest Man Suspected Of Online Hate

Police arrest jihadist suspect. Credit: Policia Nacional/X

A recent incident has highlighted more than ever how social media is being used as a platform for violence.

In a recent counter-terror crackdown, the National Police has apprehended a man for spreading hate-filled jihadist propaganda, according to a report published today.

A report published on Friday, November 3, detailed how the suspect was recently arrested in Terrassa, Barcelona. Police said that the man is believed to have promoted extremist ideology and incited acts of violence.

The joint operation, backed by the National Court’s Prosecutor’s Office and coordinated by Central Investigative Court number Two, spanned multiple regions, including Barcelona, Girona, and Alicante.

Collaborative Efforts Lead To Arrest

A collaboration between Spain’s General Information Commissioner’s Office and Morocco’s General Directorate of Territorial Security (DGST) was pivotal in the investigation, which began in late 2022. The focus was on the suspect’s online activity, which included sharing radical content and encouraging terror acts.

Social Media As a Weapon

The suspect’s online influence was not insignificant. His social media presence attracted close to 400,000 followers and garnered around four million ‘likes,’ including messages in which he threatened to cut the throats of the enemies of Islam.

He publicly supported jihadist movements within Europe, notably in Spain, referencing historical grievances such as the loss of Al-Andalus and applauding recent attacks like the one in Algeciras on January 25.

Escalating Threats

In recent months he had hardened his radical discourse, going so far as to encourage terrorist attacks and make specific threats against other social media users who criticized his posts.

His online presence escalated beyond rhetoric to targeted hate speech and specific threats against individuals opposing his views. He particularly targeting the LGTBI and Jewish communities.

The increasing gravity of his posts, coupled with his search for weapons and protective gear, prompted law enforcement to act swiftly.

Preventive Measures And Legal Proceedings

The ensuing police operation not only led to his arrest but also to a thorough search of his residence. The haul included a haul of electronic devices and data, which could provide further insights into his network and plans. Following his arrest, the suspect was presented before the Central Investigative Court, where the presiding judge ordered his detention.

In a world where online platforms can become persuasive tools of extremism, the prompt action of the National Police has potentially averted a significant threat. This case serves as a stark reminder of the pervasive reach of online radicalisation and the continuous need for vigilance.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.