The Spanish police have arrested eight people in Barcelona suspected of having links to Al Qaeda. Those arrested early this morning are suspected of providing both logistical and financial support to the Islamic terrorist group Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) which is accused of carrying out the terrorist attacks in Bombay in 2008. The police believe that those arrested form part of a structured network based in Thailand.
The eight people arrested in Catalonia are believed to have stolen passports in Spain which were then sent on to Thailand to be manipulated and then distributed under the orders of Al Qaeda.
Out of the eight people arrested six are from Pakistan, one from Nigeria – the nationality of the other one has not yet been disclosed.
The operation carried out in Europe consisted of obtaining identity documents illegally and then sending them on to Thailand. The eight people arrested in Barcelona are accused of falsifying documents and of raising funds for use in Islamic terrorist activities.
In order to be able to carry out the operation Spanish police received help from both the French and Thai authorities.
The terrorist group Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) is the largest terrorist organization and works under the instructions of Al Qaeda in Asia. It was originally founded in Afghanistan and has an operating base in Pakistan. It was formed to fight for the liberation of Kashmir which belongs to India but is mainly populated by Muslims. The group LeT was made illegal in Pakistan following evidence of its involvement in the terrorist attacks in 2002 against the Indian parliament in New Dehli.
The police operation which has led to the arrest of eight Al Qaeda suspects in Barcelona is an ongoing operation following the action taken by Spanish police in February 2009 called ‘Operation Fish’ which ended in thirteen people being arrested in Spain accused of falsifying documents, human trafficking and drug smuggling.