ISIS Suspect Arrested in Barcelona

What to Know:

Spain’s Civil Guard and Ministry of Interior have announced that a suspect was arrested in Barcelona for his alleged membership to the Islamic State after authorities “detected an intense propaganda activity of the detainee in favor of terrorism.”

The Case:

According to the Ministry of Interior, investigation into the suspect, who remains unnamed, began last year when “agents detected a person who was radicalizing and used encrypted instant messaging platforms to show their active support for the DAESH terrorist organization.”

The suspect also allegedly “disseminated and translated abundant jihadist content about terrorist activities carried out in different scenarios, and ideal material for the manufacture of explosives,” adding that it was “planned in a coherent and coordinated way with a clear vocation to gain followers and achieve real and effective support for DAESH.”

The statement added that the suspect “maintained strict security measures in his communications with the use of tools that allowed him to be anonymous on the network and operate clandestinely” and that “The use of cryptocurrencies has also been detected, so their link to terrorist financing activities is not ruled out.”

Likewise, the Civil Guard reported that the suspect had connections to other jihadists abroad, such as “jihadists recently arrested in both Canada and Sweden.”

Elevated Terror Threat:

The arrest follows last week’s terrorist attack against the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, where four Islamic State militants opened fire on venue goers during a concert and set fires inside of the complex, Killing at least 133 people and resulting in significant damage. All for suspects, identified as Tajik nationals, were apprehended (and subsequently beaten and tortured) by Russian security services after they had fled the scene and are now facing trial.

The attack came amid warnings from the United States two weeks prior of jihadist threats against public venues in Moscow, which were ultimately dismissed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as “blackmail” just three days before the attack.

Almost exactly a year before the attack, the United States Central Command warned that Islamic State elements in Afghanistan (ISKP) would be capable of launching attacks abroad with little to no warning. Just a few months after CENTCOM’s warning, an ISKP militant detonated a suicide vest during a JUI-Fworkers’ convention rally in Khar, Pakistan, which killed at least 50 people and wounded over 200 others. In January 2024, ISKP carried out a double suicide bombing in Kerman, Iran, during a memorial service for IRGC General Qassam Soleimani, which resulted in hundreds of casualties.

Since the attack against Crocus City Hall, European authorities have raised terror threat levels in preparation for potential future attacks.

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