Acquittals of Islamists raise security concerns in Spain

Spain’s National Court acquitted three Islamist extremists suspected of helping to finance al Qaeda. The acquittal is raising questions over the country’s law and judicial systems. Recently acquitted Imad Eddin Baraka Yarkas, known as Abu Dahdah, who is serving a 12 year sentence on a separate charge of having headed in al Qaeda cell in Spain, was initially sentenced to an additional 15 years for helping to organize the attacks on 9/11. He was acquitted on the financing charge, with the court citing “not the least indication” that Dahdah had sent funds to al Qaeda. Deutsche Welle reports that decisions acquitting Islamist suspects or handing down milder sentences is not unusual for Spain, but the frequency with which this happens is raising questions about whether Spanish police either exaggerate threats, or let dangerous extremists go free. Questions about the media’s focus on Islamist terrorists and court debacles instead of focusing on the majority of peaceful Muslims in the country are also sparking concerns about the reality of terrorist threats in Spain.

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