THE suspected Islamic terrorist arrested in Palma on Monday had been under police surveillance ever since arriving in the Balearics.
Andrey M., alias Amin Al Ansari and Sergei Malyschew is a suspected chemical weapons expert and was one of 16 suspected Islamic militants rounded up on Monday suspected of recruiting suicide bombers across Spain to carry out terrorist missions in Iraq. While the exact length of time the Belarus Arab-speaking suspect spent in the Balearics has yet to be confirmed, it is known that he made various trips to Ibiza and attended the Palma mosque where he sought food and shelter. It was as he emerged from a house in La Soledad, where he was being put up by a Moroccan, that he was arrested at 9.30am on Monday.
The police had been initially planning to carry out the arrest in Ibiza but were forced to move quickly as security services swooped on the suspected Al Qaeda-linked cell in various parts of Spain. Balearic central government delegate Ramón Socías revealed yesterday that Andrey M. had been under 24-hour police surveillance and all his movements were closely monitored by the anti-terrorist squad. The case against all 16 members of the suspect cell opened in Madrid yesterday with High Court judge Fernando Andreu announcing that he intends to start questioning the suspects this week. High Court sources revealed yesterday that Andrey M. is 30-years-old, was born in Minsk and is known to have been active in Chechnya and Azerbaijan as well as Pakistan where he underwent religious and possible military training. He is also wanted by a number of other European security services. The prime suspect is 25-year-old Hiyag M., alias Abu Sufian who was arrested late on Monday night in Malaga. He is believed to be the ringleader and to have close relations with Al Qaeda chief of operations Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. While no explosive materials were found where Andrey M. has been staying, police did recover bomb-making material at the scene of two arrests in Seville and anti-terrorist police claim that the cell has at least two suicide bombers ready to travel to Iraq.
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