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Barcelona 'attack plot' group held

  • Story Highlights
  • Spanish police arrest 14 people they say are linked to Islamic terror cell
  • Arrests come after joint investigation with Spain's spy agency
  • More than 250 suspected terrorists arrested in Spain since Madrid bombings
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From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman
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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Spanish police arrested 14 people suspected of preparing an Islamic terrorist attack in or near Barcelona, Spain's Interior Minister said Saturday.

The attack was not considered imminent and no targets were specified, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said at a nationally televised news conference in Madrid.

But Spanish and other European intelligence agencies had notified police that the suspects were acquiring bomb-making materials, including four timers to activate bombs.

"They had taken a step beyond radicalization and were trying to get the means to make explosives," he said.

Spanish Civil Guards in Barcelona started making arrests late Friday and finished early Saturday. Authorities searched five homes and seized four bomb timers along with computer information, he said.

The suspects include 12 Pakistanis and two others whom the interior minister identified as "Hindus."

Authorities did not immediately release their names, and Rubalcaba said it's possible that some of them could be released if authorities determine they weren't involved with a terrorist group.

More than 250 suspected Islamic terrorists have been arrested in Spain since the Madrid train bombings killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800 on March 11, 2004, the Interior Ministry has told CNN.

Several Islamic extremists were convicted last October in Madrid for their roles in the train bombings. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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