According to Spanish leftist newspaper El Periodico de Cataluña, AlQaeda is recruiting lots of youths in Catalonia:
A person in charge of the Brigade of Information of the National Body of Police (CNP) -the speaker in question is Rodrigo Gavilán- talked about “a constant dripping” of resident Muslim volunteers in Spain who give themselves to yihad international. “Yearly, the number of Spanish mujahidines oscillates between the 30 and 40 people who disappear in radical surroundings or who are detected in Iraq or in route towards countries with terrorist campings“, affirmed.
The person in charge of a foreign secret service alerted that “Catalonia is the place of origin of many of them, due to the influence that radical salafi circles have in that region“.
The preeminence of Catalonia over other Spanish regions was specially clear, as in the last two years in Vilanova, Santa Coloma, Barcelona and Girona, three important networks of recruitment and shipment from young people to Iraq has been dismantled. After Catalonia, the other seed plots of radical islamists in Spain are mainly Madrid, Ceuta and Melilla.
[…] Two methods of recruitment of voluntary young people have been detected. First one occurs in districts with great presence of Muslim immigrants. There, individuals pertaining to radical cells approach teenagers and young people with strong problems of marginalization and uprooting.
“”Salafis” means recruiters, some come from France and of Belgium, that works of traveling form moving by all Spain“, a person in charge of counterterrorism explains. The boarding can take place during religious classes in mosques and pray rooms, although also in cafeterias and in the middle of the street.
They are summoned in floors, in the back of butchers or similar places, wherever at midnight or at daybreak those recruiters chat with them on yihad.
The other route of recruitment takes place in Internet, where young that has been radicalized by themselves visit forums, chats and radical webs and are contacted there by pick up networks that first request an economic aid to them and later offer them the possibility of going to Iraq.
[…] Once chosen, those young people are obliged to leave the studies and other occupations are offered to them. “The network offers them work in building companies owned by Moroccans“, added east police control. In those companies the indoctrination work continues. When the network considers that the young person is ready, manages its transfer to Iraq or, if she is a person specially enabled, to a field of training.
Those sources indicated that “one of the main routes by which it is sent to voluntary young people to Iraq they manage extremist cells Pakistanis that operate in Ceuta and Melilla“.
[…] Those transfers are financed thanks to the traffic of hashish coming from Morocco and to the obtained drug trafficking money with enterprise activities like the computer science construction, services and the forging of clothes and clocks.
But there is more:
As the recruited ones in Spain lack military formation, knowledge of explosives or urban guerrilla, mainly “are sent for kamikaze actions“, or “are instructed” in military actions. “the danger, as both sources from the National Police and of the Civil Guard have pointed out – is that, once formed as terrorist in those fields or trained in combat in Iraq, the recruit is sent back to Europe to stay latent until the order arrives to them to activate“.
But the Catalan Interior Conseiller, Joan Saura (Socialist), known for having said that he is for the legalization of all the drugs, denies that Al Qaeda is operating so importantly in Catalonia. More here:
“I do not know of any Jihadist focus in Catalonia“. But he added that “the fight against Islamist terrorism is the most important concern in the Western world, and also here, and more since Al-Qaeda menaced Al-Andalus.
I hope he is not considering Catalonia outside of the Western world…
And of course, I hope that the fight against Islamism is not a concern but a priority.
Also we have to remember that back in 2003, 16 Islamists were detained accused of plotting to commit terrorist attacks with explosive and chemical devices. Place where they were staying? Catalonia. When Aznar announced it, leftist groups in the parliament mocked him, because the Islamists have washing powder branded “Dixan”. The terrorist commando was then, named Dixan. On 2007, 5 of them had been condemned to 13 years in prison each. The substances that they had, though they weren’t enough to make explosives, could be used to build explosive devices, combined with the right electronic devices, devices which they had. They weren´t condemned by possesing explosives but by only belonging to terrorist network and forging documents.
Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s office confesses that the Islamist terrorism is the first concern with more than 56 detained Islamists [alleged ] in 2007.
Update: Catalan newspaper LA Vanguardia reports that while the lider of CiU (Catalan moderate nationalists) has blamed the Government of the Generalitat for this rise in the Catalan jihadis, the CiU’s candidate to Major of Barcelona has stated that he does not consider Islamism a priority and that the city’s major problems come from common delinquents. “ I am dedicating myself to Barcelona, not to problems of the rest of Spain“. Hmm,