They were meeting in a mosque — making this yet another story with implications for immigration and the Muslim presence in Western countries, and the willingness of Muslim communities in the West to root out jihadists, that haven’t even begun to be explored. An update on this story. “Detainees Plotted Bombing in Spain, Judge Says,” by Victoria Burnett for the New York Times:
MADRID “” Ten men arrested in Barcelona on Saturday on suspicion of planning a suicide attack on the city”s public transportation system had intended to carry out the bombing last weekend, a Spanish judge said Wednesday in court documents ordering the men to remain in jail.
The detainees, most of them Pakistanis, were part of an “organized group” that was planning to attack Jan. 18 through Jan. 20, Judge Ismael Moreno of Spain’s National Court wrote.
The detainees include three potential suicide bombers, at least two of them Pakistanis who came to Spain in the past few months, the judge wrote.
He questioned the 10 suspects on Wednesday in the Madrid court, then charged all with belonging to a terrorist organization and some with possession of explosives.
Four others arrested Saturday were released without charge.
Judge Moreno said several suspects were arrested Saturday during a meeting at an unofficial mosque in Barcelona, where the police found materials that could be used in explosives, including nitrocellulose and timers. […]
Its members were followers of the Muslim revivalist movement Tabligh Jamaat, the judge said. The movement professes to espouse a benign, apolitical strain of Islam, but Western intelligence agencies suspect it of recruiting jihadists.
According to court documents, the Barcelona group was led by Maroof Ahmed Mirza, 38, and Mohammad Ayud Elahi Bibi, 36, both Pakistanis and the members most well versed in Islam. Hafeez Ahmed, 39, a Pakistani who spent five months in Pakistan last year, was alleged to be in charge of making and handling explosives.[…]