Spanish police have arrested a Muslim immigrant in Mallorca after he claimed to have been sent by Allah to "kill all the Spanish."
The arrest follows a series of other Islam-related incidents in recent weeks and months which reflect the mounting challenge that radical Islam is posing to Spain.
In the latest incident, police on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca arrested a German national of Tunisian descent on June 13 after he repeatedly threatened to carry out terror attacks in the name of Allah.
According to Spanish authorities, the man made "constant threats of death and references to being a Muslim" and warned, "I do not mind dying; if I have to die, I will die, but I will take plenty of others with me." The man threatened to blow up a hairdressing academy in the Mallorcan capital of Palma and "kill everyone."
The man said he had "terrorist friends who could plant bombs" and warned that "soon the Muslims will be kings of the world."
Spanish police said the man -- who had previously been arrested on February 15 for threatening to kill a local policeman -- became radicalized after visiting Tunisia in 2012.
On June 12, police in Barcelona arrested five Tunisian jihadists for "inciting Islamist terrorism" after they shared more than 400 videos on social networks of speeches of al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as footage of summary executions, terrorist attacks and tutorials on bomb-making.
The Spanish Interior Ministry said the individuals had undergone "strong processes of self-radicalization which led them to embrace the thesis of Salafist jihad."
The arrests were part of Operation Carthage (Operación Kartago), a nationwide, year-long effort to "neutralize" so-called lone-wolf jihadists as well as Islamists with combat experience returning from conflict zones in Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
Shortly after the arrests, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz announced that the government would seek to amend the Penal Code to make it a crime of terrorism 1) to give or receive "passive training" by means of "proselytization in prisons" for those serving sentences for crimes of jihadist terrorism, and 2) for imams to "indoctrinate" in mosques or on the Internet or by travelling to Islamist training camps abroad.
Díaz said the legal change is necessary because although Spanish law already makes it a crime of terrorism to "indoctrinate," prosecutors have found it difficult to prove that those who are involved in terrorism-related training are personally committed to carrying out actual attacks.
Spanish judges have long been accused of using the ambiguous legal framework to justify the lenient treatment of suspected terrorists. For example, four of the five individuals arrested in Barcelona were released from jail on June 14 after a judge decided that keeping them in preventative detention constituted "excessive" punishment.
On June 5, police in Barcelona arrested a Pakistani immigrant after he attacked the bodyguard of local politician with a metal rod. The politician in question was Alberto Fernández Díaz, the leader of the center-right Popular Party in Barcelona who also happens to be the brother of Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz. The Pakistani, whom police describe as being a "radical Islamist," was shouting chants of "for Allah!" while carrying out the attack.
On May 24, police in the Basque city of Bilbao arrested a 44-year-old Muslim immigrant from North Africa after he raped and cut the toe off a 25-year-old female social worker. According to local police, the man tied the woman to a chair and gagged her with a curtain after she told him he would be evicted from an apartment building for violating the housing rules.
On May 10, police in Gibraltar deported to Spain a Turkish member of Al-Qaeda who entered the British territory illegally. Cengiz Yalcin had been arrested in Spain in August 2012 along with two Chechens for plotting to drop explosives from remote-controlled airplanes onto a shopping mall in Gibraltar during the 2012 London Olympics.
A police raid of Yalcin's apartment in 2012 yielded enough explosives "to blow up a bus." The raid also yielded three motorized para-gliders and a video in which Yalcin is filmed flying a large remote-controlled model airplane.
Spanish investigators said they suspected the cell was testing a remote-controlled airplane as a potential bomber. The video footage showed the aircraft -- about three meters, or nine feet, long -- being maneuvered into a descent during which two packages were dropped from both of its wings.
The three suspects , however, were quietly released on bail in March 2013 after a judge in Madrid ruled that there was insufficient evidence to keep them in custody.
In April, it was revealed that up to 60% of Moroccan immigrants in Spain are unemployed and living off the Spanish social welfare state. According to the Barcelona-based Friends of Morocco Association (ITRAN), many Moroccans in Spain do not know the language "despite having lived here for many years…they are uneducated and qualified only to work in construction, farming and restaurants. The ghettos are becoming larger, the various government administrations are guilty of a remarkable neglect and now the excuse is that there are insufficient financial resources."
Also in April, an Islamist group known as the Moroccan Ghosts [fantasmas marroquíes] hacked a local government website in Huelva, a town in southern Spanish region of Andalusia.
The hackers uploaded an apocalyptic image showing the Spanish flag in flames with the words: "By attacking your websites we are going to destroy your economy." The text continued, "You have always believed that our silence in relation to your continual mortal errors towards the kingdom of Morocco and the great Moroccan people is due to fear." The message continued with a call for Islamic terrorism, and warned Europe and Spain that they will be the targets of a series of attacks that will turn into their "worst nightmare."
The message also included innumberable references to Al-Andalus, the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492.
Many Muslims believe that the territories they lost during the Christian Reconquista of Spain still belong to them, and that they have every right to return and establish their rule there.
While radical Muslims are busy trying to Islamize Spain, Spanish politicians are busy removing all references to Christianity from public discourse.
In May, the Socialist government running the northern Spanish region of Asturias passed a new law that prohibits schools from using "religious terms" when referring to the Christmas and Easter holidays.
In an effort to "avoid offending the sensibilities" of Muslims students, teachers and pupils in Asturias classrooms will now have to refer to Christmas as "winter holidays" and Easter as "second term holidays."
In February, Spain acceded to the demands of the Islamist government in Morocco by agreeing that Moroccan children adopted by Spanish families must remain culturally and religiously Muslim.
The agreement obliges the Spanish government to establish a "control mechanism" that would enable Moroccan religious authorities to monitor the children until they reach the age of 18 to ensure they have not converted to Christianity.
The requirement, which will be enshrined in Spain's legal code, represents an unprecedented encroachment of Islamic Sharia law within Spanish jurisprudence. The move also represents a frontal assault on the freedom of religion or belief, which is protected by Article 16 of the Spanish Constitution.
Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón's decision to make Spanish law comply with Islamic Sharia law has generated considerable controversy. But it remains to be seen if any lawsuits emerge to challenge what some are calling the "Islamization" of Spanish jurisprudence.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.