Spain: Alleged Jihadists Charged over Online Threats to French Citizens

Madrid, Spain - February 2, 2015: Madrid policeman armed with machine gun and hand gun at Puerta del Sol in centre of Madrid. Behind him a police car with large letters saying POLICE
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Spanish authorities have charged three alleged radical Islamic extremists who threatened the lives of French citizens in response to the publishing of the Mohammed cartoons by the magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The three alleged extremists are accused of having posted various messages encouraging terrorism and violence against French citizens on social media in response to the republishing of the Mohammed cartoons in October.

The young men were arrested in the early morning of Tuesday in the city of Granada, Andalusia, and all are considered “extremely radicalised”, according to a report from the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

On Thursday, the trio was remanded into custody after a hearing in Spain’s National Court, which deals with major crimes such as terrorism cases.

The men are said to have managed various social media accounts with up to 19,000 followers between them, and police believe that the three Muslims were aware of how to tailor their message to reach a younger audience.

They are also said to have posted media and other material linked to jihadist leaders and published videos of themselves calling for violence.

The arrests come just a year after a top Islamic State fighter was arrested in the Spanish port city of Almería along with two others. The fighter, an Egyptian national, was described by investigators as a “dangerous extremist” and “one of the most sought terrorists in Europe”.

Since the republishing of Mohammed cartoons by Charlie Hebdo, France has suffered several terrorist attacks, including the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty, who was murdered by a Chechen refugee after showing the cartoons to his class during a lesson on freedom of expression.

Leaders of Muslim countries have condemned France and Emmanuel Macron for defending Charlie Hebdo‘s right to freedom of expression, as well as for Macron’s recent crackdown on political Islam and Islamist “separatism” in France.

Earlier this week, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan called for Muslim countries to boycott Western goods to force countries to pass blasphemy laws preventing insults to the Islamic prophet.

Previously, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had also expressed support for a boycott of French goods.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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