27 Nov, 2023 @ 16:47
5 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: British family speaks after ‘popular’ daughter is accused of assisting ‘terror attack’ in Spain

A BRITISH expat family has been torn apart after their ‘vibrant’ and ‘model-esque’ daughter was accused of helping to carry out a terrorist attack in Spain. 

On the surface, Sasha Brooks is a typical young woman enjoying life in the sun, regularly posting selfies on nights out in Marbella and Granada with her friends on Instagram.

With holidays in Ibiza, Mallorca and Australia, she wears stylish clothes and is the ‘life and soul of the party’ on frequent nights out. 

But her world came crashing down last week when she was arrested alongside her Spanish boyfriend, Naraya Gomez, at a home they share in the quaint town of Lanjaron, Granada, just an hour inland from the Costa del Sol. 

Sasha Brooks is banned from leaving Spain as the investigation into the assassination attempt of Alejo Vidal-Quadras continues (CREDIT: Olive Press)

They were sequestered to Madrid before facing a judge on Friday where they were charged with aiding the assassination attempt of far-right politician Alejo Vidal-Quadras. 

The 78-year-old was shot in the face by a hitman on a motorbike outside his home in the posh neighbourhood of Salamanca in Madrid – which boasts football players, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem as residents. 

Following Sasha and Naraya’s arrests on Monday night, Lanjaron, a tiny town of just 3,000 people, was turned into a media circus. 

A neighbour named Maria told the Olive Press: “It was like something from a movie, police with masks over their faces were here for three days, they took boxes and suitcases out of the house.” 

Mother Angie Brooks said Spanish reporters have been hounding the family since the news broke (CREDIT: Facebook)

Before Sasha was charged on Friday, her mother, Angie Brooks, a financial advisor, told this paper: “Spanish reporters have been hounding us, banging on my door all night and morning. They have reported so many lies about my daughter.” 

After her court appearance her mother said Sasha was ‘exhausted’.

She added she had been through an ‘ordeal’, branding the episode ‘stressful’ and ‘full on’.

“I’ve had to come up to Madrid to help her as much as possible,” said Brooks, who runs a an anti-fraud advice company, Pension Life, where her daughter and boyfriend Naraya had been working.

“It’s been pretty full on and it’s now up to the judge to decide whether to charge them or not.” 

While her mother later insisted she had not been charged, Sasha had her passport taken off her after being released on bail.

She must appear before the court every 15 days and is forbidden from leaving Spain as the investigation continues. 

Naraya (left) and Sasha (right) were arrested last Monday during a dramatic raid in Lanjaron, Granada

Various Spanish newspapers reported that both Sasha and Naraya were still being investigated in connection to the attempted murder.

Naraya was refused bail and sent to prison due to the overwhelming evidence against him. 

He is said to have recently converted to Islam, specifically following the Shiite sect favoured by the ayatollahs of Iran. 

Vidal-Quadras is convinced the Middle Eastern nation is the mastermind behind the hit, after its ruling elite listed him as a ‘terrorist’ last October due to his years of harsh criticisms against the country. 

Naraya, 26, is accused of hiring the contract killer, a wanted Frenchman of Tunisian origin, before travelling to a hotel in Madrid with him on the eve of the attack. 

According to police, Gomez followed the Frenchman in his car on the day of the shooting. 

After the deed was done, the killer, who is also wanted for a murder in Paris, dumped his motorbike and set it on fire, before being picked up by Gomez in his car to make his getaway.

Naraya’s father Sirio (pictured) insisted to the Olive Press that his son is innocent

According to police, Naraya’s blue hire car was seen on CCTV in Madrid’s Barrio Salamanca in the weeks running up to the attack, tracking Vidal-Quadras’s movements. 

The same car was found illegally parked in Lanjaron this week, leading to the couple’s arrest.

Naraya’s father Sirio Gomez, a yoga master who lives in a new age commune just outside Lanjaron, insisted the charges were completely false. 

He told the Olive Press: “My son is completely innocent, he is not a terrorist. He is a good boy, a vegetarian, spiritual and a pacifist.”

He said he last spoke to Naraya a few months ago and that he was excited to introduce his girlfriend Sasha to him. 

He added: “He was not related to politics, he worked for Sasha’s mother’s business.

“He never converted to Islam, that is a lie, he is not a Muslim. He has judeo-Christian beliefs and an affinity with Israel!”

Sirio lives in the so-called community of Benificio, just a 20-minute drive from Lanjaron. 

It’s known by locals as an ‘alternative community’, where people from across Europe come and go. 

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner was known to have spent considerable time there and bought and sold drugs and other illegal goods in the area.

The theory put forward by police has left expats and locals in Lanjaron in shock. 

Naraya is described as a ‘lovely boy’ by locals in Lanjaron (CREDIT: Olive Press)

One local Brit told the Olive Press: “They were a lovely couple, no one can believe it or understand it.

“There is no motivation for them to do something like this, Sasha comes from a good family.” 

Sasha’s mother Angie is a pillar of the expat community.

Pension Life has long helped victims of pension scams and fraud around Europe, particularly British victims in Spain, while also litigating against the criminals. 

The family has various properties in Granada and even Madrid, making a financial motivation unlikely.  

Lanjaron has since closed ranks, with locals and expats refusing to speak to the media.

However one local British expat told this paper: “Sasha is a popular character and a beautiful woman who you could see hanging out at fashion shows or boutique hotels, not taking part in acts of terror. 

“Naraya grew up with his dad in a hippy-style commune after his mum died in childbirth.

“His dad still lives there and teaches yoga and fixes machines to get by. He has little money.”

She added that his alleged conversion to Islam was surprising. 

“I know that the summer before last there was a LOT of partying, Naraya really liked to have a good time, if he was converted and radicalised it must have been extremely fast.

“He always dressed well and was very polite in the street, and had a love for the finer things in life, like travel and high-end cars.”

The couple’s social media accounts show recent trips to London and Ibiza for example. In one snap they are seen laying scantily-clad on a yacht while sipping champagne. 

Police are conducting their investigation ‘in secrecy’, but sources say they have yet to discover the mastermind behind the assassination attempt. 

The motorbike used in the attack was traced to a 22-year-old Albanian expat, who was allegedly paid to put the vehicle under his name. 

He is not believed to have known what the motorbike would be used for. 

Meanwhile the shooter remains at large. 

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

GOT A STORY? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es or call +34 951 273 575 Twitter: @olivepress

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