Spanish police arrest dangerous terrorist on suspicion of Islamic State links

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Police arrested the Spanish head of “Muntasir Media”, an Islamic state propaganda network, who had threatened to attack Judge José de la Mata of the Audiencia Nacional, according to the police. Many chemicals used to make explosives were found during searches of his home in Parla (Madrid), as well as a list of people and critical infrastructure marked as targets. He is accused of preparing terrorist attacks, glorifying terrorism and terrorist threats. He has been remanded in custody and is suspected of belonging to the Islamic State.
The arrested man, who is responsible for several jihadist threat videos in Spanish, broadcast a video entitled “Morirás con una bomba lapa” (you will die by a car bomb), in which he threatened to murder the magistrate, who has ordered various prosecutions in recent years against jihadists. “We have every intention of eliminating José de la Mata,” he said in a video broadcast by Muntasir that had been posted on the Telegram network.
The man arrested is a 23-year-old Spaniard of Moroccan origin from a non-rigorist Muslim family and pursuing electronic studies, according to anti-terrorist sources. He edited the videos in his room in a house in Madrid, where he incorporated the texts in Spanish, following the instructions of his contacts with the Islamic State.
During the police operation, a second person was arrested and released. The detainee was the sole responsible in Spain for Muntasir Media, a platform that massively disseminated content in favour of the Islamic state and functioned as a propaganda body with international ramifications where other members made threats against countries and politicians.
While searching the house, security guards found a large number of chemical precursors, including 13 bags of ammonium nitrate, as well as hydrogen peroxide and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), which are key elements in the manufacture of TATP or “Satan’s mother”, the explosive used by jihadists in the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils.
In addition, a large amount of electronic equipment, manipulated mobile phones, modified watches that can be used as timers, a bullet-proof vest and a plate with balls that can be used in bombs.
Detailed manuals and sketches on the steps to be taken to manufacture explosive ordnance were also found. The detainee had established a list of potential targets with contact information for many people and some infrastructure.
His training allowed him to produce threat videos by hiding his identity and digital traces so that his location was extremely laborious and complex, because one of the characteristics of this platform is the use of highly secure messaging applications that allow a wide distribution of content with little risk to the user.