(JTA) – A suspected jihadist cell recently apprehended by Spanish anti-terrorist officers planned to kill Jews and policemen in Madrid, authorities said.
The three alleged members of the cell, who were arrested on Tuesday, were Moroccan nationals living in Spain on valid staying permits, the La Voz de Galicia daily reported on Wednesday.
According to the findings of the investigation that led to their arrest, they considered themselves affiliated to the Islamic State terrorist organization but never travelled to the Middle East to participate in fighting there.
The three remained in contact online and planned to carry out attacks similar to the ones perpetrated by Amedy Coulibaly, who in January murdered four people at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris a day after he gunned down a police officer south of the city.
The report, based on information provided by unnamed officials, did not name specific targets allegedly eyed by the suspects, aged 26-29. It said they had “planned an imminent attack on security forces or attacks against Jewish interests in the Spanish capital.”
Separately, the Danish intelligence service, PET, said that a Danish national of Palestinian descent who killed a Jewish guard and wounded two police officers outside a Copenhagen synagogue in February meant to leave the country, possibly for Syria, shortly before police caught up with him and killed him in a shootout.
Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein got a new Danish passport nine days before the Feb. 16 killings, according to the PET report on him compiled in February and obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press.