Terror group ‘bomb factory’ dismantled in Portugal

A combined operation by Portuguese and Spanish police has dismantled a terror group bomb factory in Coimbra.

Progress in rounding up members of the Galician Resistance has been ongoing since 2006, with two of its key members arrested last year after 14 years living in northern Portugal (click here), and another arrested earlier this year (click here).

This latest ‘coup’ involved the apprehension of ‘important explosive material used in the activities of the organisation’, said a statement by PJ police on Monday.

Said the communiqué: “This independent group was responsible for more than 35 ‘attacks with explosives’ in different areas of Spain between 2005 and 2011.

None of the attacks claimed any human lives, but they did cause “great material damage to several public and private buildings”, including banks. This caused “enormous social alarm”, said the statement.

By 2014 the Galician Resistance had been labeled a ‘terror group’ by the Spanish Supreme Tribunal of Justice, and since then authorities have been playing a game of cat-and-mouse trying to round up all the perpetrators.

The Coimbra base discovered appears to have been one of the group’s ‘safe houses’ in which “vast material evidence” was recovered, including “numerous tools used in the manufacture of explosive devices, namely watches, timers, and mobile phones prepared as remote activation devices for explosive charges’.

A total ‘load’ of around 30kgs of gunpowder was also removed from the property, along with a pressure cooker assembled to take explosive charges “similar to those used by this group in different attacks”.

No reports specify how neighbours have reacted to such a cache of potential weaponry having been discovered virtually on their doorsteps – but the absence of any arrests suggests this ‘safe house’ may have been abandoned, or at least ‘empty’ for some time.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com