Mohammed Harrak's father and sister waited to see him when he made his court appearance on Thursday.

21-04-2016A. Sepúlveda

The arrest of a terrorist suspect
It was just before 8am on Tuesday when the national interior ministry tweeted a message that announced the arrest in Palma of a Moroccan national with close relations with DAESH, the raid on the apartment in the Son Gotleu neighbourhood having begun at 7.30am. Within moments the news was on various websites, including the Bulletin's. This was the story that dominated the week, during the course of which information came out about Mohammed Harrak: of his alleged desire to go to Syria to fight with the "Mujahideen of the Caliphate"; of his attempts at recruiting Jihadists; of his involvement with Facebook and WhatsApp groups; of his military training; even of his claim to have been working for Spanish intelligence.

Government representatives appealed for calm and dismissed any speculation that Harrak had posed a direct threat to Majorca, even if it was confirmed that he had posted a call to a WhatsApp group for the commissioning of an attack on Spain. In Son Gotleu itself, the predominantly immigrant community was affected in different ways. Part of it had jeered Harrak and tried to assault him when the National Police took him away. Another part, the Moroccan Muslim community, admitted to "anxiety". The mayor, José Hila, went to lengths to say, as reported yesterday, that people in the neighbourhood were making efforts every day to improve it. While not making a specific reference to Harrak, the implication of his message was one of a community together and not divided.

Fears of any impact on tourism were downplayed, while among Bulletin readers, Tommy admitted to the incident being a worry but concluded that the UK and the Irish were behind Majorca 100%.


Graffiti and tourist tax
Any potential negativity surrounding the arrest came hard on the heels of the ongoing fallout from the appearance of anti-tourist graffiti in Palma. Was this evidence of rising "tourismphobia", we asked on Tuesday, a societal condition more evident until now in Barcelona because of the increased volume of tourists and the takeover of accommodation for holiday rentals. Palma is experiencing similar developments. One of our readers suggested that the graffiti was "hardly an isolated incident", as had been implied by Biel Barceló, the tourism minister. In a wide-ranging talk with the Bulletin in Thursday's issue, Barceló said that the graffiti was the work of a minority, while he covered a number of topics, one of which was the tourist tax. He reiterated what he has said before: it will represent a "small contribution" that "all of us" will be making in preserving the Balearics.

Meanwhile, the questions about the tax keep on surfacing. A couple of our readers asked about the legality of its being charged as there had not been any forewarning when reservations were made.


Deaths on the roads
Last Saturday afternoon there was an accident on the motorway near to the exit for Portals Nous. A BMW Series 3 Cabrio, travelling at "foolhardy" speed, struck a motorcyclist, who was killed as were two occupants of the car, which ended up some fifty metres away from the impact in pine wood. It was later reported that a test on the the driver, now out of intensive care, showed her to have taken various drugs. On Monday, there was another death, this time of a 46-year-old man who had been walking on the hard shoulder of the motorway near Can Pastilla. He was struck by a truck's wing mirror at 5.30 in the morning, when it was dark and on an unlit stretch of road.


Trouble in Puerto Pollensa
On our website, although there was intense interest in the various reports on the IS suspect, the single report that attracted the greatest interest had to do with the row in Puerto Pollensa over an ice-cream kiosk, threatened with closure after some fifty years of existence. The report hadn't appeared in the paper as such, though this was addressed by a lengthy feature yesterday on the "anger" in Puerto Pollensa that has been caused by the affair and also by the pedestrianisation work on the resort's coast road.

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Mick / Hace over 5 years

Headlines in The Telegraph and The Mirror today. Negative press about the Tourist Tax. We all know that the millions generated from this will only line specific companies pockets and you will see very little of it spent.

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