SPANISH police say they have stopped a possible terrorist attack after arresting a Daesh (ISIS) suspect.
The Algerian man was under investigation for viewing terrorist propaganda online and forging identity documents, which he used to travel across Europe.
He was also found to have manuals on how to make explosives and weapons.
Guardia Civil say his internet activity revealed a ‘great interest in weapons and fighting techniques’.
Having tracked his online presence as he was allegedly radicalised, police moved in and searched his home in Madrid.
Police say that identifying radicalised terrorists planning on attacks in Spain is one of their greatest challenges.
Anti-terror officers have stepped up their surveillance operations since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as they felt lockdown would give more opportunities for Islamists to radicalise potential terrorists.
They say that the arrested man was considered a high risk by investigators who had tracked his social media and messaging apps.
The investigation is ongoing as police analyse his computer and digital devices for more evidence liking him to terrorist activity.
There have been a series of arrests of radicalised suspects over the past 12 months.
In May a suspected ‘lone wolf’ terrorist who had allegedly been plotting to bomb a Barcelona versus Real Madrid match using a drone was detained.
Spanish police said his plans were scuppered by the coronavirus lockdown.
Instead he started wandering the streets of Barcelona, reporting back to his ‘controller’ in Syria.
The shadowy ISIS figure urged the Moroccan-born 34-year-old waiter to use a knife in a suicide attack. He said this was the arrested man’s only path to ‘redemption’ after he had dabbled in alcohol and drugs.
According to Spanish newspaper El Periodico, police believed the would-be- terrorist was trying to find a target such as a supermarket queue, forcing them to move in and made an arrest.
The man, whose name remains undisclosed, arrived in Spain illegally 12 years ago, police say. He was first contacted by ISIS terrorists in 2015, but the process of radicalisation they put him through only reached the final stage this year.