An unnamed Morrocan man was arrested in early hours of May 8th as a result of the operation led by the Spanish Police, the Morrocan Homeland Security, and the FBI.
The man was suspected of planning a series of terrorist attacks in Barcelona this weekend according to Antena 3. He has been a “profoundly radicalized” follower of ISIS for at least four years but remained discreet until recently, says the Spanish Civil Guard reports Fox News.
He had been quietly monitored by the authorities until his behavior drastically changed after the March 14th national lockdown in Spain. The investigators believed he decided to organize several attacks in Barcelona on his own, in response to ISIS propaganda to strike in Western Europe.
The suspect was arrested in an apartment in the Barrio Gotico, a popular tourist area in the center of Barcelona.
The Civil Guard issued a statement following the suspect’s capture: “Since the coronavirus began spreading across Europe, there have been a number of single-person terrorist attacks involving knives or vehicles.”
“The arrested man had used social media to proclaim his loyalty to ISIS and his hatred for the west. Surveillance officers noticed that he had begun to disregard the lockdown rules set out in the state of emergency on a regular basis, that he was taking important security measures as he ventured around Barcelona, suggesting he was carrying out a possible search for targets.”
The suspect is set to appear before the National Crime Court in Madrid on terrorism charges.