Terrorist threat at busy Spanish train station “was a joke”
A major terrorist scare which prompted fears that a Wesminster-style attack was being planned in Barcelona could have been a joke, police have revealed.
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in Spain after a threatening message was posted on a popular internet forum, together with a picture of what looked like a jacket packed with explosives.
Police said the threat was “similar in content and place of publication” to the one posted before the London attack on March 24th so it was taken very seriously.
The unsigned message contained co-ordinates of the Sants train station, one of the busiest in Barcelona and used by thousands of commuters every day.
Barcelona’s police force Los Mossos substantially increased their presence in around the station, with more foot patrols, armed officers and random checks.
The station had already been under continous surveillance since January 2015 when Spain raised its anti-terorist alert to Level 4.
Police have now revealed that the 16-year-old was arrested in Barcelona and has made a preliminary appearance before a judge before being released on bail.
“The minor has no link to jihadist terrorism and has not been captured in any way by radicals,” said a spokesman.
At the moment, all the indications suggest it was a JOKE, he added.
The case has been sent to the public prosecutor and the teenager is likely to face a custodial sentence.