The Spanish National Police have seized an Islamist terrorist cell in the Andalucian city of Granada.
The operation which was coordinated with the Europol agency led to the raid on a property in the early hours of 27 April, resulting in the arrest of three men on suspicion of encouraging terrorist attacks against individuals in France.
After the French magazine Charlie Hebdo republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in September of last year, the arrestees posted numerous videos on their social media accounts threatening to carry out violent actions against France, its citizens and interests abroad to avenge the said-publication.
The Spanish National Police used its specialist capabilities to identify the individuals behind these social media profiles with totalled almost 19 000 followers.
The seriousness of these threats, together with the suspects’ social media following – agents found some 19,000 which was considered a serious security concern for the authorities.
Europol deployed one of its experts to the field to assist the Spanish authorities during the day of action. The evidence gathered during the house searches will now be analysed by Europol to identify potential links with ongoing investigations.
The suspects are presently in police custody as the investigation continues into the cell´s activities and network.