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Spain: police arrest man suspected of planning terror attack

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spanish police arrested a Moroccan man on Friday suspected of planning a terror attack in the name of the Islamic State group during Spain’s coronavirus crisis. Spain’s Civil Guard said that the arrest carried out in Barcelona was aided by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Morocco’s state security forces.

The Civil Guard said that they had been watching the suspect for four years but that his “process of radicalization” had been accelerated during Spain’s lockdown that started in mid-March to control its COVID-19 outbreak.

Investigators suspected the man had been motivated by calls made by IS for followers to carry out attacks in their countries of residence. Police said the suspect had made “public declarations” of his allegiance to IS and hatred for Western countries on social media.

Investigators feared he was planning an attack, perhaps using a knife or with a vehicle, in Barcelona after observing him breaking virus confinement rules to move around the city, possibly searching for a target.

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