Barcelona cell planned European metro attack, three terrorists on the loose

Members of a terror cell nabbed in Barcelona last weekend are suspected of planning to hit public transportation targets in several European cities, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported over the weekend.

According to the testimony of a police informant, the 14-member terror cell affiliated with al-Qaeda planned to strike cities in Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, and Britain. The police source said the suspects focused their attention on public transportation targets, including subways, in various cities across Europe.

"If we strike at subways, rescue forces won't be able to get there," one cell member reportedly told the police informant. The cell planned to send two pairs of would-be-attackers to the Barcelona subway carrying bags packed with explosives. The terror suspects planned to detonate the bombs using remote controlled devices.

Security officials in Barcelona estimated that the terror attack was scheduled to be carried out in the next two weeks. According to the report, other cell members were tasked with similar missions in other European cities based on the same modus operandi.

After the 12 Pakistanis and two Indian nationals were arrested in connection with the plot, four suspects were released due to lack of evidence against them. During the operation, security forces also recovered explosive devices and other means aimed at producing explosive devices.


Spanish police have alerted Interpol of the possible presence of three Pakistani potential suicide bombers in France and Germany, the daily Periodico de Catalunya reported Friday.

The three were thought to have links with 12 Pakistanis and two Indians who were arrested in Barcelona on Saturday. Ten of the detainees remain in jail while four were released.

The group is believed to have been preparing an imminent attack in the Barcelona transport network. Three of them were prepared to die in suicide bombings, according to judicial sources.

Spanish police suspect that three other Pakistanis travelled directly to France and Germany to stage attacks there.

Spanish police were searching for a cache where the terrorists may have kept explosives.

Sources: Ynet, Expatica (English)

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