Spanish police informant 'created jihadist videos montage'

Spanish police informant 'created jihadist videos montage'
Spanish police believe militant videos found in a home, showing armed men in front of a central Madrid square, are a montage put together by a police informant.
2 min read
21 January, 2017
The footage was allegedly created by a police informant [File photo: Getty]

Videos found at the home of a suspected militant, showing armed men in front of a central Madrid square, are a montage put together by an informant, Spanish police believe, according to a report published by a newspaper on Friday.

The footage was created by a police informant - dubbed "Lolo" -  who was paid monthly by the police and had to supply "extraordinary" information to get a bonus.

Lolo alerted authorities about the existence of a militant cell that was prepared to carry out attacks and offered the videos as proof, El Mundo reported.

The informant contacted Spain's CNI intelligence agency last July but the agency concluded the information he provided them with was a montage.

After the intelligence agency showed little interest, he turned to police in Madrid who opened an investigation with the aid of "Lolo" and on December 30 arrested two Spanish men who appeared in the videos.

The interior ministry said at the time that the two men, Edrissa Ceesay Sanuwo and Samir Sennouni Mouh, had been detained for "glorifying terrorism" and "possession of war weapons and ammunition".

The authorities said the two men held an AK-47 rifle in several videos which featured Islamic State symbols and a picture of Puerta del Sol, a major square in central Madrid.

But later the two men said it was "Lolo" who came up with the ideas for the videos and put them online.

The investigating judge in charge of the case has summoned the police officers involved for questioning, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

He will decide in the coming days if the videos were in fact a montage, the source added.

Spanish police have so far arrested 181 people accused of connections to militant groups since 2015 when Spain raised its terror alert level to four on a scale of five following deadly attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.

It is the highest alert level since al-Qaeda-inspired bombers blew up four packed commuter trains and killed 191 people in Madrid on March 11, 2004.   

Spain has been mentioned on extremist websites as a possible attack target for historical reasons, given much of its territory was under Muslim rule from 711 to 1492.