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Cablegate: Spanish Police Arrest Eight Individuals Allegedly

VZCZCXRO5747
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0659 1621550
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101550Z JUN 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4932
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 3997
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 3462
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MADRID 000659

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/CT, AND EUR/WE
NSC FOR ELIZABETH FARR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV PREL SP
SUBJECT: SPANISH POLICE ARREST EIGHT INDIVIDUALS ALLEGEDLY
INVOLVED WITH ISLAMIC TERRORISM

REF: MADRID 73

1. (U) According to the website of the Spanish Interior
Ministry and press reports, Spanish National Police on the
morning of June 10 arrested eight individuals in Barcelona,
Castellon, and Pamplona during an operation aimed at an
alleged Islamic terrorist cell that reportedly had been
recruiting, supporting and financing would-be terrorists.
The suspects are all believed to be from Algeria and have
alleged ties with the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb. Although this investigation is in its initial
stages, press reports suggest that there is thus far no
connection with the alleged terrorist cell dismantled in
Barcelona in January (REFTEL). During the arrests, police
reportedly seized over 7,000 euros and evidence of financial
transfers to third countries, presumably to finance terrorist
acts.

2. (U) According to the website of the Ministry of Interior,
the identities of the arrested individuals are:

Arrested in Castellon
-- Mohamed Bouacha (DPOB 03-16-1971 in El Harrach, Algeria)
-- Mohamed Souici (11-14-1971 in Bouzereah, Algeria)
-- Youcef Haddallah (03-1981 in Algiers, Algeria)
-- Mourad Ait Kaid (04-16-1972 in Kouba, Algeria)
-- Abdennour Chettah (09-30-1972 in Kouba, Algeria)

Arrested in Barcelona
-- Sid Ali Taukoucht (08-19-1968 in Pallat, Algeria)
-- Abdelghani Himmouri (06-27-1979 in Becha, Algeria)

Arrested in Pamplona
-- Mustapha Yousfi (03-14-1972 in Oran, Algeria)

//COMMENT//

3. (SBU) Terrorism finance investigations and arrests are
relatively common in Spain. In 2007, press reports indicate
Spanish law enforcement agencies pursued 165 suspected
terrorism finance cases. In 87 of the cases, the targets
were related to Islamic terrorism while the other cases
involved the Basque terrorist group ETA or other groups. We
do not have numbers on how many terrorism finance convictions
have been obtained, although we do know that there are people
in jail sentenced on terrorism finance grounds. According to
the 2007 EU Terrorism and Situation and Trend Report
(covering the time period from October 1, 2005 to December
31, 2006) 172 individuals were convicted on terrorism
charges. This does not include hundreds of people who remain
in jail on preventative detention. In Spain, individuals can
be held for up to four years in preventative detention. Many
of the terrorism finance leads come from banks and other
financial institutions. In 2007, the Spanish Financial
Intelligence Unit (SEPBLAC) received 135 alerts from
financial entities, compared with 59 in 2006.
Dudley

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