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Spain sentences Barcelona subway terror cell men

View from within courtroom
The group was discovered after one of the cell members informed police

A Spanish court has sentenced 11 men to prison sentences for belonging to a terror cell plotting to stage suicide bomb attacks in Barcelona.

The group of men - 10 from Pakistan and one from India - were accused of conspiring to blow up part of the city's transport network.

Police discovered the plan during a series of raids in January 2008 after a cell member approached the police.

The men received sentences of up to 14 years in prison.

The judges in the case said the men had been found guilty of belonging to a terror organisation but not of actually conspiring to stage a terror attack as the amount of explosives found was insufficient to do so.

The group's ringleader, Ahmed Mirza, a 40-year-old imam, was sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison.

Judge Gomez Bermudez said that the cell had plotted to detonate their bombs on Barcelona's metro system, in an echo of the 2004 Madrid bombings that killed 191 people.

The prosecution said the bomb had been planned to proceed the 2008 general elections in response to the presence of Spanish troops in Afghanistan.



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