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22 Apr, 2020 09:54

One of Europe’s most wanted ISIS terrorists busted in Spain wearing Covid-19 mask as DISGUISE

One of Europe’s most wanted ISIS terrorists busted in Spain wearing Covid-19 mask as DISGUISE

Spanish security services have arrested a top-tier Islamic State militant, who’d sneaked into the country after waging jihad in Syria and Iraq. The fugitive and his accomplices tried to blend in by wearing compulsory face masks.

Police and intelligence agents forced entry into an apartment rented by the terrorism suspect and two of his accomplices in the province of Andalusia on Wednesday, Spain’s interior ministry revealed. The militant, said to be of Egyptian nationality, had somehow managed to illegally cross into Spain by sea, it emerged.

Without disclosing his name, the ministry said he was “one of the most wanted terrorists in Europe, both because of his criminal record in Daesh [Arabic acronym for Islamic State/ISIL] and for the high danger he posed.”

Finding themselves in coronavirus-hit Spain, where over 21,000 people have succumbed to the illness, the three alleged terrorists did their best to avoid catching anyone’s eye. They “adapted their behaviors to the emergency situation amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” going out separately and always with their masks on.

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Still, the Egyptian came on European intelligence services’ radar because he’d spent several years fighting for the jihadist group in Syria and Iraq, developing “very peculiar personality traits.” His crimes, some of which “are extremely harsh,” according to officials, were captured on film.

In recent years, Spain has become one of Europe’s main gateways for illegal immigration from North Africa and the Middle East, on a par with Greece and Italy. The country’s geographic proximity to Libya, where migrants amass before crossing the Mediterranean, has almost assured this.

Spain sustained a deadly attack in 2017 when a 22-year-old terrorist drove a van into a busy pedestrian street in Barcelona. The attack, in which over a dozen people perished, was later claimed by the Islamic State.

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