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Spain authorities arrest Mumbai terror attack suspects

Spanish authorities announced Wednesday that they have arrested seven men in Barcelona suspected of aiding in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that killed 166. Spain's Ministry of the Interior [official website, in Spanish] confirmed [news release, PDF, in Spanish] the arrests, as well as three additional arrests in Thailand. The seven suspects in Barcelona, six Pakistanis and one Nigerian, are accused of providing stolen passports [El Mundo report, in Spanish] to the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [CFR backgrounder], which allegedly coordinated the attacks. The men are suspected of stealing passports and other identification documents belonging to male tourists between the ages of 20 and 30, then sending the documents to Thailand where they would be forged and then forwarded to terrorist groups. The Spanish National Police [official website, in Spanish] spent over a year investigating the movement of stolen passports from Spain to Thailand and cooperated with international police organizations in uncovering the terrorist cell.

Suspects connected to the Mumbai terror attacks continue to face arrest and prosecution. India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) [official website] announced [press release, PDF; JURIST report] in October that it has secured INTERPOL [official website] red notices [official backgrounder] for five Pakistani citizens, including two military officials, for their suspected involvement in the attacks. A month earlier, the Bombay High Court [official website] allowed an appeal by Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab [NDTV profile], the lone gunman to survive the three-day siege of Mumbai. Kasab, a Pakistani national, filed the appeal in June after he was convicted in May for his role in the terrorist attack and sentenced to death after the prosecution sought the death penalty [JURIST reports]. Two alleged Indian accomplices tried with Kasab were acquitted on all charges of helping to plan the attacks.

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