EFFICIENT coordination and prompt action by National Police in conjunction with Intelligence services uncovered and disbanded a Jihad logistics racket in the Comunidad Valenciana providing supplies to Syria and Iraq.
The discovery was sparked by a consignment of 20,000 combat uniforms for DAESH – or so-called 'Islamic State' – fighters intercepted in Valencia port.
Various unnamed companies were thought to have been providing financial and logistic support to the Middle Eastern terror cells DAESH – also known as ISIS – in Syria and Jabhat al-Nusra in Iraq, but their cover was blown on Sunday, February 7.
Police have only just revealed details of the swoop, which had to remain top-secret until now for security reasons.
Containers shipped from Saudi Arabia were registered as carrying furniture and personal belongings, second-hand clothing and even humanitarian material, but when they were inspected upon arrival in Valencia, their contents turned out to be firearms, money in cash, explosives, transmission equipment and tens of thousands of combat uniforms.
The cargo was on its way to Ontinyent, capital of the inland Valencia-province district of the Vall d'Albaida, where they were due to be stored in a warehouse owned by a Moroccan national.
These illicit goods were heading for Spain in two containers destined for Valencia and a third heading for Algeciras (Cádiz province, on the south coast).
Their final destination is thought to have been Syria and Iraq, but their presence rebealed a likely international network of suppliers providing technological support and there were enough uniforms to dress an 'entire army' trained in Jihad combat.
But it is not believed they were intended for such an army based in Spain, only that the terror organisations had set up a distribution network in the country to avoid suspicion and to keep it comfortably far from DAESH's main centre of war-like activity.
MP in the Comunidad Valenciana Juan Carlos Moragues, speaking at a press conference in Catarroja – near Valencia airport – said the haul showed there had been 'a highly-active racket' made up of companies in the region which, 'in coordination with each other', had been sending what they tried to pass off as aid material to the war zones, but which was in fact weapons, explosives, cash and military equipment.
Moragues, however, says this discovery should not necessarily cause alarm to the people of Spain or the region of Valencia – the goods were not designed to be used in Spain, and the mere fact the nationwide racket had been busted showed just how far Spanish police were ahead of the terrorists and highlighted their ability to thwart attacks and strike at the heart of the organisations themselves.
Spanish authorities recall that the country has lengthy experience in fighting terrorism through its 40 years battling against Basque separatists ETA, meaning it is better prepared than many other parts of Europe which had not suffered the same type of violence.
ETA's last major attack was nearly a decade ago – on December 30, 2006 – when it planted a bomb in the car park at Madrid airport's Terminal 4, killing two Ecuadorian men.
And its ceasefire has been ongoing since 2009, with no real sign of any intention of breaking it.
Photograph of haul of combat uniforms taken by the National Police