Spanish police arrest eight suspected jihadists with links to Brussels bombings

Spanish police arrest eight suspected jihadists with links to Brussels bombings

A series of raids by Catalan police led to the arrests of eight suspects with alleged terrorist links

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Police in Barcelona have apprehended eight members of an alleged terror cell in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A series of dawn raids on 12 properties in and around the city saw the suspects arrested at the culmination of an eight-month operation.

The Mossos d’Esquadra - Catalonia's regional police - said in a statement that the alleged cell members were Moroccan citizens resident in Spain, aged between 31 and 39. 

Four of the people arrested have suspected links to last year's attack in Brussels, where 32 people were killed and more than 340 people were injured after Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek metro station were bombed.

The suspects are thought to be directly linked to the incident - which Islamic State claimed credit for - but the police spokesman said their level of involvement was unclear.

At the moment, the national security alert in Spain is one level below the top, in the wake of a series of high-profile terrorist incidents in London, France, and Belgium.

Barcelona has emerged as Spain's most dangerous jihadi hub in recent years, with dozens of arrests in and around the popular Mediterranean city.