At a court hearing in Madrid on August 3, Yalcin told the investigating magistrate, Pablo Ruz, that he was an enthusiast of motorized paragliding — a sport for which southern Spain is renowned — and wanted to teach the two Chechens, Magomedov and Adamov, how to fly such aircraft.
Spanish investigators later affirmed that Yalcin paid for both Chechens to receive motorized paragliding lessons near La Línea; as police found a paragliding handbook in Russian among their possessions, they may have had some instruction before arriving in Spain.
A Spanish paragliding instructor who had dealings with the three men said Yalcin had repeatedly asked his instructor about taking aerial pictures of the “Puerta Europa” shopping mall in Algeciras, the largest city on the Bay of Gibraltar, and situated virtually opposite Gibraltar (map here) – an observation which led Spanish authorities to deduce that the cell was seeking to attack the shopping center if they were unable directly to attack Gibraltar.
Most recently, in March 2012, in Valencia, Spanish authorities arrested Mudhar Hussein Almaki, a Jordanian-born Saudi member of al Qaeda. Known as “The Librarian,” he was one of al Qaeda’s chief propagandists, working full-time to promote jihad on Internet forums online. In 2011, Almaki called for the murder of former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar and former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana for “crimes perpetrated against Muslims.”
Al Qaeda’s largest terror attack in Europe took place in Madrid on March 11, 2004, when bombs were exploded on four commuter trains;191 people were killed, more than 1,800 were wounded. Since then, in towns and cities across Spain, police have been continuing to arrest dozens of al Qaeda members and other Jihadists.
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org
About the Author: The writer is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.
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