Spain: 4 arrested on suspicion of planning terror attacks

Story highlights

  • Interior minister: "They were willing to carry out an attack"
  • 2 pairs of brothers arrested in Spanish territory of Ceuta
  • Minister: They had similarities to those behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre

Madrid (CNN)Spanish authorities arrested four suspected members of a terror cell Saturday morning in that country's North African territory of Ceuta, a quartet that Spain's Interior Minister claimed were well-trained and well-prepared to attack.

Those arrested were two pairs of brothers, Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters Saturday.
    "What is especially noteworthy with the breakup of this cell are the many parallels with the attacks in Paris recently carried out against the Charlie Hebdo magazine," Fernandez said, referring to the January 7 massacre that ended with 12 dead.
    Ceuta is a tiny, 7-square-mile Spanish exclave bordering Morocco, across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain.
    The suspects, who are Spanish citizens and are of Moroccan origin, are "strongly radicalized" and had psychological and physical training, as well as training in the use of weapons, said the minister while addressing reporters at an event of his ruling conservative party.
    "(They were) willing to carry out an attack," Fernandez said. "And, according to the police, to blow themselves up."