Indians among Al Qaeda suspects arrested in Spain: reports

February 4th, 2009 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 4 (IANS) Up to 15 people, including at least one Indian, have been arrested by Spanish police over alleged links with Al Qaeda, according to European media networks.The suspects, who are accused of forging passports and other documents, are said to number between 11 and 15 and reports said there could be up to four Indians among them.

The rest are from Pakistan and Nigeria, television and radio networks reported.

The arrests were said to have been made Tuesday after a series of police raids in the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Valencia.

Sources close to the investigation, codenamed ‘Operation Fish’, said it could be extended to other parts of Spain as well as France, Britain, Belgium, Italy and Thailand.

According to investigators, the ring operated by stealing passports in various Spanish cities and sending them to Thailand, where they would be altered and sent to the other five European countries to criminal networks, to facilitate fraudulent border crossings.

Seven people were arrested in Barcelona, according to police officials, although the operation directed by National Court Judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska remains open and the possibility of further arrests has not been discarded, EFE reported.

Madrid was the scene of Europe’s worst terrorist carnage in March 2004, when Al Qaeda operatives bombed four commuter trains, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800.

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