AN ISIS ‘lone wolf’ terrorist who violated Spain’s coronavirus lockdown has been arrested in Barcelona.
The Moroccan, who played a ‘critical’ role for the Islamic State group was captured following a joint international probe.
Spain’s Guardia Civil worked with the American FBI and Moroccan Directorate General for Territory Security (DGST).
A Guardia Civil spokesperson said: “The detainee showed his intent to carry out a terrorist act, the details of which are unknown.
“Thanks to the police deployment of surveillance, he has been observed to regularly violate, without justification, the confinement rules established under the state of alarm.
“He moved through the city of Barcelona under important security measures on a possible search for targets.”
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Investigators are working with the theory that the man’s actions were a response to the ISIS leadership’s call for ‘lone wolf attacks’ in ‘western territories’.
He is known to have used social media to pledge allegiance to ISIS, as well as express his ‘hatred of the West’.
Police also said it was ‘striking and worrying’ that the ‘radicalisation process has been completed’ during lockdown.
They explained that ‘several terrorist attacks’ have taken place in Europe, during the coronavirus crisis.
Terrorists have been ‘making their attacks with knives and ramming people with vehicles’ according to police.
The spokesperson added: “International cooperation is absolutely important in the fight against jihadist terrorism.
“The high mobility of terrorists and the use of social media and internet apps greatly aid police investigations, and especially have been extremely useful in this case.
“The investigation determined that the detainee is totally influenced by the propaganda and ideologies of ISIS.
“He has even sworn allegiance to said terrorist organization, a circumstance for which he is considered a real threat to safety.
“Since the elevation to level 4 of the anti-terrorist alert on June 26, 2015, the Guardia Civil has reinforced all the operational devices and lines of investigation related to the terrorist threat.
“Especially those involving individuals immersed in a process of radicalisation that could lead to displacement to a conflict zone or in the commission of terrorist actions in the countries of residence, which is currently one of the main threats to western countries.
“This reinforcement has also been intensified since the declaration of the state of alarm, given the possibility that ISIS or another terrorist organisation could take advantage of the health scenario as a multiplier of the effects of an attack.”
The Central Investigating Court number 4 and the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the National Court were also involved in the investigation.