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Monday, February 05, 2007


Barcelona, 5 Feb. (AKI) - Pakistani terror group Jaish-i-Mohamed (The Army of Mohammed) - allegedly linked to al-Qaeda's leadership - has made Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia its principle European base, Spanish daily El Periodico reported on Monday, citing unnamed Pakistani security sources. The group has recruited Pakistani nationals resident in Spain and sent them to Pakistan, where it has put them in contact with al-Qaeda's networks in the tribal regions, the security sources said, quoted by El Periodico.

Jaish-i-Mohamed is alleged to have sought jihadi recruits in Spanish mosques. In Catalonia in particular, its role has been principally a logistical one: besides finding jihadi recruits, the group is allegedly concerned with financing and sending to Pakistan, passports and other documents that have been stolen in Europe. Spain and Pakistan's intelligence services are reportedly monitoring the movements of suspected individuals between the two countries.

The group - which has been linked to the deadly 7 July 2005 attacks on London's transport system that killed 56 people and injured 700 - is not the only terror formation to operate in Spain, according to El Periodico. The paper alleges the militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba (The Army of the Pure) - which is banned in Pakistan - also uses Spain as a logistical and fund gathering base.

Spain's anti-terror forces admit they are concerned about the infiltration of extremists from such groups as Jaish-i-Mohamed and Lashkar-e-Toiba within the Pakistani community. Catalonian police have signalled the presence in the region of several "highly mobile" radical Pakistani groups who are reported to be moving around Spain and other countries.
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