Spain: Al-Qaeda suspects planning attack arrested

Reports say the suspected al-Qaeda members were planning to launch an attack from the air on a shopping mall in the British territory of Gibraltar during the Olympics. Photo / Thinkstock
Reports say the suspected al-Qaeda members were planning to launch an attack from the air on a shopping mall in the British territory of Gibraltar during the Olympics. Photo / Thinkstock

Three suspected members of al-Qaeda arrested in Spain were planning to launch an attack from the air on a shopping mall in the British territory of Gibraltar during the Olympics, reports say.

Police found a video in the home of one of the suspects, Turkish national Cengiz Yalcin, in the Spanish city of La Linea de Concepcion across the border with Gibraltar, which shows him piloting a large remote-controlled plane, the online edition of El Pais reported, citing anti-terrorism sources.

"At a certain moment the plane descended and it dropped a package from the air. On the ground, Yalcin celebrated his achievement," it said.

Police believe the suspects were preparing to use a remote-controlled plane to drop explosives on a mall in Gibraltar during the 2012 Olympics, which wrap up in London on August 12, Spanish public television TVE and other media said.

No one at Spain's interior ministry was immediately available to comment on the reports.

Police arrested Yalcin at his home on Thursday (local time), while the other two suspects - both of them Chechen - were picked up near the central city of Ciudad Real as they travelled by bus to Irun, a Spanish town on the border with France.

The authorities found enough explosives in Yalcin's home at the time of his arrest to blow up a bus, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz has said.

A Spanish judge on Friday jailed Yalcin for "possession of explosive substances and devices with terrorist aims".

The judge jailed the two other suspects - identified as Eldar Magomedov and Mohamed Ankari Adamov - on Sunday for belonging to a terrorist group and possessing bomb-making material.

The judge based his decisions on information provided by US, French, Russian and Gibraltar authorities, according to Spanish court documents.

- AFP

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