updated 9/15/2004 9:33:20 AM ET 2004-09-15T13:33:20

Police staging pre-dawn raids in Barcelona on Wednesday arrested 10 people who may have supported Islamic militants in North Africa or the Middle East, officials said.

Police had initially described the detainees — all of Pakistani origin — as suspected members of an Islamic militant group, but later said they belonged to a “violent, organized crime group.”

Police seized a large amount of documentation in the raids on homes in Barcelona and are now investigating whether the detainees may have supported a militant Islamic group outside Spain, either in North Africa or the Middle East, said Pere Jene, spokesman for the Catalan regional police force which made the arrests.

“We don’t think it is al-Qaida, but maybe some group linked to it,” Jene said from Barcelona.

He said the arrests did not mean there is an al-Qaida cell active in Barcelona. Jene said no weapons or explosives were found in the raids.

Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida have been blamed for the March 11 train bombings in Madrid. The attack killed 191 people.

Wednesday’s operation was ordered by Judge Ismael Moreno of Spain’s National Court, which handles terrorism cases.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments