By Rund Abdelfatah
SPANISH authorities have arrested three alleged members of Al-Qaeda in La Linea and San Roque in Cadiz.
The detainees, two Chechnyans and one Turk, have received military training in camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The men were carrying explosives and poison, and authorities suspect they were planning a terrorist attack in Spain or Europe.
Police arrested the Turkish man at his home in the neighborhood of Las Palomeras, San Roque where he lives with his Moroccan wife.
They later found enough explosive material to “destroy a bus”, according to Spain’s interior minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz.
The two Chechnyan suspects were detained at a rest area in Valdapenas while on their way to France.
This is the first time armed suspected Al-Qaeda members have been found in Spain.
The suspected terrorists are believe to be linked to an Al-Qaeda cell called the LET (which stands for Lashkar-e-Taiba in Arabic, meaning ‘army of the pure’), responsible for the attack on Mumbai in 2008 that killed 170 people.
Western intelligence services have been on their trail for several months and detected their presence in Spain about a month ago when they arrived from France.
During this time, the suspects were seen training in paragliding flights around Gibraltar, leading police to speculate that they were planning an air attack.
Authorities are currently hacking into the detainees’ computer records to retrieve information about their alleged plans.
The central base of Al-Qaeda issued a statement in early July indicating they were searching for ‘lone wolves that live among the enemies and speak Spanish’.
The text, written in Spanish, was an appeal to recruit suicide bombers.
These arrests come just one day after the Spanish government submitted a defence policy that did not include appointments at the 11-S, the 11-M, al Qaeda or Afghanistan.
Indeed, the policy statement made no mention of diplomacy, disarmament or arms control.