Your stolen passport may be a jihadi’s ticket into a Western country. “Spain Dismantles Passport Ring For Islamic Cells Abroad,” by David Roman for Dow Jones Newswires, December 1 (thanks to Twostellas):
MADRID -(Dow Jones)- Spanish police arrested seven men in Barcelona, suspected of stealing passports for radical Islamic cells in Thailand and Pakistan, and collaborating with the group that carried out the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, the country’s Interior ministry said Wednesday.
The suspects, six Pakistanis and one Nigerian, are believed to be part of a European network that allegedly obtained passports to be forged in Thailand. The passports were later distributed to cells including Al Qaeda, Pakistan’s Lashkar e Taiba–which carried out the Mumbai attacks, killing 175–and Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, the ministry said in a statement….
According to Spanish police, the group allegedly stole large amounts of foreign passports from tourists in Spain–practically all in or around Barcelona–over the 18-month period during which the group was under surveillance. The thefts were allegedly requested by the Thailand-based head of the group, who asked for passports with specific nationalities and age brackets.