The family members of 26-year-old Moroccan Mohammed Harrak, arrested early on Tuesday in the city-centre neighbourhood of Son Gotleu, required medical assistance for shock and anxiety. This led to teams of medics being escorted by police units into the area, sparking fresh fears amongst the local community. But there was no need for alarm, it was mere security precaution with the security services still on full alert.
Harrak, who is said to have had close links with leaders of the terrorist organisation based in Syria, remains in police custody but has refused to give a statement to anti-terrorist experts who flew into Palma first thing today to question the suspect in the presence of his lawyer. All he said was that he was the victim of a "big misunderstanding". Tomorrow, he will face the Spanish High Court via videoconference from the courts in Via Alemania in Palma.
It came to light today that the 26-year-old, who was arrested in the possession of 15 grams of cocaine and utensils used for treating and preparing drugs, had apparently been trying to speed up his training in order to travel to Syria and allegedly fight for IS. This was seemingly one of the reasons why the security forces made their move on Tuesday.
Unbeknown to Harrak, the intelligence services had had him on their radar for quite some time and were monitoring his movements closely. When they noticed a marked increase in his military training and received information from other intelligence services, they decided to make their move.
GCHQ played a key role, unit of crack British troops on its way to the Med
Reports emanating from the UK today revealed that the GCHG listening centre and the British secret service played a key role in the arrest of Harrak. GCHQ had picked up ‘chatter’ out of north Africa and the eastern Mediterranean about an "imminent threat" to Spain and passed its information onto its Spanish counterparts in Madrid who took instant action.
In another development, a 150-strong unit of Royal Marine commandos plus members of the SAS could be deployed to the Western Mediterranean this summer to act as a rapid prevention and reaction force in the event of a potential threat being located or a terrorist attack being carried out in a tourist resort similar to that in Tunisia last year. Events over the past few days are being taken very seriously.
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