In the early hours of 27 April, officers of the Spanish National Police (Policia Nacional) with the support of Europol swooped on the members of a terrorist cell in the city of Granada. A total of three individuals were arrested on suspicion of encouraging terrorist attacks against France.
After the French magazine Charlie Hebdo republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in September of last year, the arrestees posted numerous videos on their social media accounts threatening to carry out violent actions against France, its citizens and interests abroad to avenge the said-publication.
The Spanish National Police used its specialist capabilities to identify the individuals behind these social media profiles with totalled almost 19 000 followers.
The seriousness of these threats, together with the suspects’ social media following, represented a serious security concern.
Europol deployed one of its experts to the field to assist the Spanish authorities during the day of action. The evidence gathered during the house searches will now be analysed by Europol to identify potential links with ongoing investigations.