Two terror suspects held in Spain

The interior ministry said the suspects were “lone wolves” who had a similar profile to that of the Boston Marathon bombers

A man identified by the Spanish Interior Ministry as Algerian national Nou Mediouni is seen in this handout photo, following his arrest in Zaragoza . Photograph: Reuters

A man identified by the Spanish Interior Ministry as Algerian national Nou Mediouni is seen in this handout photo, following his arrest in Zaragoza . Photograph: Reuters

Wed, Apr 24, 2013, 06:05

Spanish police yesterday arrested two men suspected of links to Islamic terrorism.

The interior ministry said the suspects, who were detained in Zaragoza in northern Spain and Murcia in the south, were “lone wolves” who had a similar profile to that of the Boston Marathon bombers.

The men were identified as Nou Mediouni (23), an Algerian national and computer expert, and Hassan El Jaaouani (52), who is unemployed and from Morocco.

In a statement, police said both men “are supposedly members of a radical cell close to the terrorist organisation AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb)”.

Mr Mediouni, who lives with his family in Zaragoza, allegedly received instructions to travel to Mali for jihadist training, but cancelled the trip due to police pressure. The ministry said he had expressed regret in internet postings at not being able to “die like a martyr”.

The authorities noted that Mr Mediouni’s comments on internet forums had become more radical recently, and one of the documents they seized in his home praised the Boston attacks, in which three people were killed.

Madrid will stage its own marathon this Sunday.

Both men are due to appear in Spain’s High Court tomorrow.