On 17th September the GNR on patrol arrested a 26 year man in a car in possession of a firearm following a chase in Paderne
In connection with this the GNR Albufeira conducted a search at the suspect’s house in in Ferreiras near Albufeira, where according to the newspaper Diario de Noticias (DN) graffiti was found on a garage wall with the word “Jihad” and the book “Osama Bin Laden, the Strategy of Terror”.
Following the GNR operation the GNR issued a statement confirming the arrest of a 26 year old man and the seizure of an automatic rifle with silencer; two revolvers; a rifle; four pistols of different calibres; an airsoft gun; a paintball gun; two airguns; a can of pepper spray; a sword; a knuckle-duster and various calibre munitions.
Also apprehended was enough narcotic product for 10,314 individual doses of hashish and 70 of marijuana, as well as other objects allegedly used in criminal activity – namely precision scales, three balaclavas, two pairs of binoculars and a crowbar”.
According to the DN a source had told the paper that although there was no concrete evidence that the man “was entering a process of terrorist radicalisation”, but because of the international context – and because Portugal is known to have a number of citizens fighting for the Islamic State in Syria – police took no chances.
While DN claims that PJ police and SIS (security service) consider the jihadist link tenuous, they have now set about trying to analyse the situation.
Since 2013, SIS has been monitoring “around 10 jihadists with Portuguese passports”, all of whom have gone to fight for the Islamic State’s army in either Mali, Syria or Iraq.
SIS has “carried out identical attention” over the movement of nationals on “jihad stages”, particularly when these coincide with regions where Al-Qaeda and its affiliates “seek to reinforce their position”, adds DN, quoting directly from the security service’s annual report.