Quote: ‘Spain’s Ministry del Interior praise the FBI tip-off, playing an essential role in the identification and neutralisation of alleged terrorist’


The National Police and the Guardia Civil, detained an alleged jihadist in the Santa Eugènia neighbourhood of Girona who, it is believed, was planning to carry out a gun attack on Benidorm’s tourist beaches.

The Investigating Court number 2 of the National Court, ordered the imprisonment without bail of Fath Allah Benhachem Gharrass, 28, who is of Moroccan origin and Spanish nationality.

No weapons were seized from him at the time of his arrest.

His arrest, which only became known on January 27, took place after an alert from the FBI in the United States, who warned the Spanish security forces of his degree of radicalism and proselytism in favour of Daesh on social media, the internet, and the Deep Web, the network used by criminals which is beyond the reach of the majority of internet users.

The FBI’s monitoring of the different aliases he used online, such as ‘Daniel Lofti’ and ‘Pipa4545’, was what revealed his plans to attack the well-known Alicante tourist town on behalf of Daesh.

His online conversations and also the subsequent wiretaps revealed that he had already begun negotiations with another radical, alias ‘Karim el Maghrebi’, who is probably outside of Spain, to acquire AK-47 rifles, Glock 9mm pistols, and explosive belts.

His efforts on the black market, explained sources of the fight against terrorism, were advanced, although as yet he had not obtained any firearms.

The other fixation of the alleged terrorist was to attack Moroccan citizens in Spain, who he criticised for their westernisation, although the specific plans have not yet been disclosed.

As reported by authorities the arrested man was also very fond of watching the execution of jihadist attacks in Europe. The same day he was arrested, he searched for how to carry out stabbings and attacks with bladed weapons, revealed by the Ministry del Interior.

He watched the video of an actual stabbing of a person on a train up to 18 times to supposedly learn the technique.

This ‘lone wolf’ was also familiar with videos of stabbings in US prisons or jihadist stabbing attacks in London and Tunis.

The arrested man also used his extensive knowledge of the internet to obtain manuals to train himself in the use of weapons and explosives, although no substances that could be used to make bombs were found in the police search of his home.

His most frequent inquiries were about how to manufacture TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide), better known as the ‘Mother of Satan’, the explosive that the terror cell of the attacks on Las Ramblas and Cambrils in August 2017 tried to manufacture and that blew up the house of Alcanar, where two of the terrorists died.

Benhachem Gharrass was already trying to buy large quantities of acetone, the main component of TATP, from a Chinese supplier, the authorities claimed.

He was also researching how to make C4, a powerful plastic explosive for military use, how to make car bombs, and how to make various types of poisons.

Spain’s Ministry del Interior has praised the tip-off from the FBI, as it played an “essential role in the identification and neutralisation of this alleged terrorist.”

The anti-terrorist services insisted that the detainee was in an advanced process of jihadist radicalisation and had a history of violence and aggressiveness.