The court set up by the Spanish government to try terrorism suspects has convicted 11 Asians, ten from Pakistan and one from India, for plotting to carry out subway bombings in Barcelona, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The terrorists were sentenced to between 8 and 14 years in jail.
Ten of the terrorists were arrested in January 2008, and the final one was arrested later in the Netherlands. The authorities were able to foil the plot due to information provided by an informant.
The plotters were connected with Tehrik-e-Taliban, a group led by Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban that was killed by an airstrike from an American unmanned aerial vehicle in August.
Mehsud’s group said that it hatched the plot against Spain due to that country’s military contributions to the war in Afghanistan.
Robert Spencer of JihadWatch.org used the report’s omission of the terrorists’ faith to criticize the media’s reporting on this and other similar incidents.
“Eight paragraphs in, we learn it was a’ suspected Islamist cell.’ Until then, one might almost have gotten the impression that Pakistan had declared war on Spain,” Spencer wrote on his blog.
“And that is the problem with this kind of coverage, which is, of course, thoroughly ordinary. It is not because they are ‘men,’ or ‘Asians,’ or ‘Pakistanis’ that they are waging war on Spain. So these reports are essentially misleading.”
This isn’t the first time terrorists have targeted Spain and specifically Barcelona.
On March 11, 2004, terrorists loyal to Al-Qaeda detonated backpack bombs on several buses, killing 191 people. Eleven Pakistanis were also arrested and later acquitted of planning attacks in Barcelona in 2007, although five were found guilty of other charges, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
The suspects found guilty in Spain are appealing their verdict, Newstrack India reports.