Spanish police arrest alleged jihadist planning attacks


(JTA) — Spanish police arrested a "self-radicalized" Moroccan they suspect of planning terrorist attacks in Spain and elsewhere in Europe.

Mohamed Echaabi, 22, was arrested on Feb. 7 in Valencia, police announced the following day.

Police said he fit the "same profile" as Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French-Algerian Islamist terrorist who killed three Jewish children and a rabbi at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse last March before being killed in a standoff with police, according to the French news service AFP. Merah visited Spain in 2007.

Echaabi reportedly traveled to the Gaza Strip in 2011 planning to carry out a suicide bomb attack against Israel, according to CNN.  

Described as a lone wolf, Echaabi was "self-radicalized" using the Internet and was recruited by terrorist networks, much like Merah, Spanish police said in a statement, according to AFP.

He intended to commit terrorist acts in Spain and other European countries, police said.

Recommended from JTA