9 ‘Catalan Separatists’ Busted in Spain for Plotting Independence Referendum Terrorist Attack
The detainees are said to be members of the “violent wing” of the CDR, a grassroots network founded ahead of the 2017 Catalonia independence referendum.
Nine alleged Catalan separatists from the grassroots protest group “Committees to Defend the Republic” (CDR) have been arrested in Spain for planning a terrorist attack for the second anniversary since the failed Catalonia independence referendum of October 1, 2017.
The Catalonia independence referendum in 2017 had a turnout over 43% (with 2.2 million votes cast), of which 92% voted in favor of independence.
However, the referendum had been declared illegal a month in advance by the Constitutional Court of Spain, its holding spurred a police crackdown and led to a government crisis in the province of Catalonia, which was stripped of its autonomy by the central government in Madrid for nearly seven months.
At least nine people – described by the Spanish police as “Catalan separatists” – have been arrested in Barcelona in a police operation on Monday, September 23, 2019, El Pais reported.
The detainees allegedly belonged to the Committees to Defend the Republic (CDR), a protest movement who have staged public acts of protests over the past couple of years. It was established a month before the 2017 Catalonia independence referendum.
They are said to be part of the self-described Technical Response Team, supposedly the most violent faction of the CDR.
According to cited sources with knowledge of the investigation, the suspects had bought explosive materials and had tested hand-made bombs at a house in an isolated location
The police operation was carried out in homes and commercial venues in Barcelona, Sabadell and Santa Perpètua de Mogoda. It was launched by an investigating judge at Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional.
The investigators made clear their concern that the grouping could be the start of a new terrorist organization in Spain, which suffered for some 40 years violent attacks by ETA, the Basque terrorist group officially disbanded in 2018.
The police operation against the alleged terrorist plot comes as the Spanish Supreme Court is expected to announce its ruling on the fate of 12 Catalan separatist leaders who were tried earlier this year for rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds over the 2017 Catalonia independence referendum.
(Banner image: Spain’s Interior Ministry)