Spain arrests 9 in Catalonia for plotting acts of violence

Spanish authorities arrested at least nine Catalan separatists Monday, and said they were plotting acts of violence in the Spanish territory.

Pro-Catalan independence supporters rally in Girona, Catalonia, Spain, on October 1, 2018. File Photo by Robin Townsend

Civil Guard officers raided homes and businesses and seized explosives, computers and documents, authorities said. Among the items found were sulfuric acid, paraffin, aluminum powder, paint stripper and gasoline. One suspect had floor plans of several public buildings, court officials said. More than 500 officers took part in the early morning raid in the province of Barcelona.

Investigators said the detainees are part of a violent group called the Technical Response Team, which is part of the larger Committees to Defend the Republic — a group pushing for Catalan independence. Police said none of the detained has a criminal record.

The separatists are fighting for Catalonian independence from Spain.

The Committees to Defend the Republic called on members to protest the latest round of arrests.

“Self-determination is not a crime,” the group tweeted.

The raids occurred about a week before the 2-year anniversary of an unauthorized referendum that favored Catalan independence. The Spanish Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on the fate of Catalan leaders who spearheaded the independence movement in 2017.

ByNicholas Sakelaris