Eurabia Alert: "The police statement said the group is suspected of having contacts in Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland..."
"Spanish police suspect terrorism links in arrests," from the Associated Press, February 3 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Spanish police arrested 13 people on Tuesday on suspicion of links to organized crime and terrorism groups.
A police statement said the detainees — 11 Pakistanis, a Nigerian and an Indian — are suspected of belonging to an international criminal gang involved in passport forgery, drug trafficking and the smuggling of people.
The police said they were investigating whether the group may also have supplied forged documents to international terror groups. The Spanish police often use that term to refer to Islamic extremist organizations, but a police official refused to say if that applied this time.
Eleven of the arrests took place in Barcelona and two in the eastern city of Valencia. Police agents wore masks to conceal their identities.
The police statement said the group is suspected of having contacts in Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland and Thailand.
The group allegedly stole passports in Spain and forwarded them to Thailand, where they were altered before being sent back to criminal gangs in Europe.
During the operation, police seized numerous false and blank passports, and material used for forging documents....
Reports of the total number of arrests vary by news organization. More information: "10 arrested in Spanish forgery probe," from CNN, February 3:
MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Police arrested at least 10 people in Barcelona and Valencia early Tuesday on suspicion of document forgery, possibly for Islamic terrorists, a government source told CNN.
"There are arrests. The police have to determine who is who," said the source, adding that she didn't know how many arrests were in Barcelona, Spain's second-largest city, and how many in Valencia, the third-largest city, also on the Mediterranean coast, south of Barcelona.
Most of the arrests were in Barcelona, according to Spanish media, reporting that police had seized a quantity of blank passports and national identity cards, ready to be forged.
Police were looking for a printing machine in Valencia, according to one report....