Europe’s most wanted Islamic State terrorist used coronavirus mask to hide
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- Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary is a British former rapper and Islamist militant...[+]
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
One of Europe’s most wanted Islamic State terrorists, believed to be British extremist and former rap artist Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, has been captured in Spain.
Spanish anti-terror police conducted a raid on a rental apartment in Almeria on Tuesday and arrested the man who had recently entered the country.
The man, and two associates, had used the coronavirus outbreak to sneak into the country and had been using facemasks to disguise their appearance, officials said.
Video footage of the raid shows armed police outside the apartment before apprehending the men and leading them out with their heads covered.
In a statement, the General Directorate of Police said the man was a “high-ranking” Egyptian born member of Isis.
“National Police officers have carried out an anti-terrorist operation that has culminated in the arrest in Almería of one of the most wanted Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) in Europe,” it said.
“The arrested FTF is one of the most wanted terrorists in Europe, both for their criminal record in the ranks of Isis and for their dangerousness.
“The detainee had spent several years in the Syrian-Iraqi conflict zone and has both very peculiar personality traits and an extremely violent criminal profile, which caught the attention of the European police and intelligence services.”
It is believed the terrorist is Bary, 28, a rapper who once posed with a severed head in Syria and promised death to all Westerners.
Bary was raised in London and left Britain to join Isis in 2013.
He later left the group in 2015 in the face of sustained coalition bombing and has been on the run since.
His father, Adel Abdel Bary senior, believed to be closely linked to Osama Bin Laden, was jailed in America in 2015 over a plot to blow up an embassy in Africa.
He was extradited from the UK in 2012 and sentenced to 25 years for conspiring to kill Americans in the 1998 embassy bombings, which left 224 people dead.
Two other people have also been arrested in the Almeria raid and authorities are trying to identify whether or not they are also returning terrorists from Syria.
It said the terrorist and his companions used “iron-clad” security measures to try to avoid detection.
“After a complex investigation it was possible to determine the circumstances of his arrival on the Almería coast, as well as his subsequent movements, finally achieving his location and arrest,” police said.
“Those arrested adopted iron-clad security measures, both in their journey from North Africa to our territory and in the movements they made in Almería.
“The detainees, once in Spain, adapted their behaviour to the [lockdown] situation as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, making few exits, leaving separately and always with masks to avoid being detected.
“The operation is still open and, at this time, intensive work is being done to verify the identity of the other two detainees and the ultimate reasons for their presence in Spain with the FTF.
“[We are seeking] to determine if they are all finally returned fighters or these two people could be offering the FTF security and logistical support for entry into Europe.”
The National Police said the operation has been conducted in collaboration with the National Intelligence Centre.
“Agents searched an apartment where the three detainees were hiding in the Andalusian city,” it added.
“The investigation was carried out thanks to international cooperation when agents specialised in the fight against terrorism, in collaboration with the National Intelligence Centre, were working on the possibility that this FTF intended to return to Europe through our territory.
“This operation is a sign that, despite the health crisis, the National Police and the judiciary continue to collaborate actively in the fight against terrorism.”
The UK Foreign Office has refused to confirm or deny if the terrorist captured is Bary.
Source: The National