SPAIN’S Civil Guard has busted a clandestine bomb factory in Montmajo in Barcelona province, where they found nearly 500 kilos of materials for making explosives. The operation, dubbed ‘Termes’, has yielded one of the biggest seizures of illegal explosives to date in the country.

In total, there were 468 kilos of precursors and other chemical substances at the site, which had been acquired via the internet. The authorities also found fuses and 2.2 kilos of homemade gunpowder.

The investigation began a year ago, when the CITCO terrorism intelligence centre identified a 41-year-old man in Barcelona province who had made a suspicious purchase of explosives precursors online. He was arrested as part of the operation.

The precursors discovered by the Civil Guard are chemical substances that, in certain quantities or when mixed with other products, can be used to create illegal homemade explosives. As such, their sale is strictly controlled to avoid their use by terrorists or other criminals. 

Bomb factory in Barcelona
A photo supplied by the Civil Guard of the chemicals seized in March 2023 at a clandestine bomb factory in Barcelona province. Credit: Civil Guard

The dangerous nature of the substances required the involvement of the Civil Guard’s TEDAX bomb squad when raiding the site, as well as for the analysis and destruction of the haul. 

The substances found by the Civil Guard could have been used to make the explosive compound known as ‘mother of Satan’, and which has been used in the past by Islamist terrorists. 

According to the Civil Guard, similar bomb factories were located and broken up in 2019 in Burgos, and in 2021 in Seville. On those occasions the authorities found explosives as well as firearms.

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