Thursday, January 24, 2008

National Court judge Ismael Moreno yesterday charged three of the suspected Pakistani terrorists with planning suicide attacks on Barcelona public transport (probably the metro) last weekend. Undoubtedly mass carnage would have been wreaked, London- or Madrid-style. Good thing they caught them in time. Moreno jailed ten of those arrested without bail. The three potential suicide bombers arrived in Barcelona in November and December of last year.

Moreno ruled, "Those arrested made up an organized group with a clear and specialized division of functions, ideologically linked by their profession of an extremist Islamic posture, in accordance with the principles of the Tabligh e Jamaa movement...The group had moved toward a more radical position that justified the indiscriminate use of violence as a legitimate tool to reach its political-religious goals...The nucleus had reached operative capability and was very close to achieving technical explosives capability, to be used in jihadist attacks, leading to the inference that the members of the alleged terrorist cell planned to carry out several different suicide terrorist actions last weekend, between January 18 and 20, on Barcelona public transport."

Judging by what I hear on the streets and the reader comments section in La Vanguardia, there is a serious backlash of anti-Pakistani racism going on around here. La Vanguardia's print edition repeats a few urban legends: that the government gives immigrants free apartments, that Pakistanis harass owners of shops they want to rent in order to force them to leave, that Pakistanis are all part of an illegal mafia organization that brings them over here and pays off the authorities, and the like.

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