Arrested for possession of hundreds of manuals for terrorist self-training

by Lorraine Williamson

PAMPLONA – Agents of the Spanish National Police have arrested an individual in Pamplona on suspicion of involvement in terrorist collaboration, including indoctrination, recruitment, and enlistment. It was also discovered they were in possession of hundreds of manuals for terrorist self-training. The subsequent arrest took place on Wednesday, September 6.

The operation, conducted jointly by the General Information Division and the Provincial Information Brigade of Pamplona, received assistance from the Provincial Information Brigade of Almeria, the National Intelligence Centre (CNI), the Directorate General of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) of Morocco, and the EUROPOL agency. It was coordinated by the Prosecutor’s Office of the National Court and overseen by Central Investigating Court Number One.

The investigation began in mid-2022. At this time, counter-terrorism experts identified an individual aligned with the principles of DAESH (ISIS). They discovered, that through their social media accounts, they disseminated radical and violent jihadist material that encouraged terrorist actions.

Pledge of allegiance to the DAESH Caliph

Particularly significant was the individual’s pledge of allegiance to the current Caliph of the terrorist organisation, Abu Hafs Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi. This, thereby acknowledged their affiliation with the terrorist organisation, aligning with its objectives, and engaging in activities in its favour.

“Channel of Everything”

During the investigation, it was observed the detainee had an extensive and active online presence consistent with their jihadist ideology. They actively sought, consumed, and subsequently shared thousands of multimedia files of a radical nature with other users. This included executions, murders, and praises of jihadist leaders.

The investigation revealed that the individual operated on various social media platforms, participating in numerous jihadist groups. The most prominent among them was a group referred to by the detainee as the “channel of everything”. Seemingly, this served as a repository for thousands of files produced by official DAESH media outlets. Additionally, the detainee maintained various contacts through social media with DAESH members located in conflict zones, with whom they planned their incorporation as mujahideen.

Cogesa Expats

The detainee implemented stringent virtual security measures to avoid detection by law enforcement. Furthermore, they also provided instructions to like-minded individuals, emphasising the importance of compliance. They relied on specific cybersecurity manuals for this purpose.

Operation against jihadist terrorism

Based on these findings, a police operation was launched in the early hours of last Wednesday, resulting in the detention of the individual and the execution of a search warrant at their residence. Among the items seized by the officers was a significant amount of computer equipment. Of particular importance to the investigation was the discovery of hundreds of manuals for terrorist self-training, covering topics such as the manufacture of explosives, detonators, poisons, advice on concealing terrorist activity on the internet, conducting secure financial transactions, using and handling various types of weapons, recruiting and enlisting new combatants, and more.

The investigators emphasise the detainee’s ability to lead a double life: while engaging in self-training and indoctrination through the internet, their public life appeared entirely normal, rendering them inconspicuous.

The arrested individual was brought before Central Investigating Court Number One, whose judge ordered their remand in custody.

Also read: Major Jihadist recruitment network dismantled

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