Madrid, Nov 3 (IANS) Three men of Moroccan origin accused of being part of a group linked to the Islamic State (IS) were arrested on Tuesday in the Spanish capital of Madrid.
The arrest operation was coordinated by the High Court Public Prosecutor and carried out by the National Police force in the districts of Canada Real and Vallecas in the south of the capital, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the Spanish interior ministry, they were prepared to carry out “terrorist acts at any time, similar to those which have taken place recently in neighbouring countries.”
Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the attacks planned were “of an indiscriminate nature” and pointed out that while recent arrests had been of people who formed part of recruitment networks to send people to join IS in Syria or Iraq, where were looking to act in Spain.
“This is a major step upwards and very different,” said Diaz, who said those arrested could have committed acts “which ranged from stabbing someone with a knife to going out with a Kalashnikov.”
The minister said Spain is on an alert level of four out of five for the threat of a terrorist attacks, which means “high-risk”.
So far, 171 suspected extremists have been arrested in Spain.