- Associated Press - Sunday, August 5, 2012

MADRID — A Spanish judge on Sunday charged two Russian men suspected of plotting a terror attack in Spain or elsewhere in Europe with belonging to a terror group and of possessing explosives.

The National Court named the men as Eldar Magomedov and Mohamed Ankari Adamov, and said there is evidence linking them with “belonging to or forming part of a terrorist organization.”

The two, who are both of Chechen origin, were driven to the court in dark cars early Sunday, escorted by masked police officers.

Judge Pablo Ruz ordered both men to be jailed until a date is decided for court proceedings, the court statement said.

Judge Ruz said his decision had been made after reviewing evidence provided by the U.S. Justice Department, French judicial authorities and the police services of Gibraltar and the Russian Federation.

A Turkish national, named in the statement as Cengiz Yalcin, with whom they have been linked was charged Friday with possession of explosives and a device likely to be used in a terror attack.

Mr. Yalcin had worked for years in the construction industry in Gibraltar, and the explosive material was seized at his property in the southwestern Spanish city of La Linea, just across the border from the British colony and naval base.

The statement said evidence provided by Russia linked Mr. Magomedov with international terror groups and that he had been in Pakistan and Afghanistan from 2010.

Evidence provided by the U.S. revealed that Mr. Magomedov may have acted under the pseudonym of Muslin Dost and been involved in terror activity in 2010 in Afghanistan and in Waziristan, a mountainous region in the northwest of Pakistan, Judge Ruz’s statement said.

Both men had traveled to France before entering Spain in April or May this year, where they stayed at a property in the southwestern city of La Linea. While there both men allegedly took lessons from Mr. Yalcin in paragliding.

Both men allegedly were heading back to France when they were arrested in the central city of Ciudad Real, and police found neither was in possession of any kind of identification documents, the statement said.

The statement listed several aliases by which the two Russians are known.

While Judge Ruz’s court document does not reveal the name of the terror group to which the Russians allegedly belong, it does say the men “partially acknowledged” their links to it.

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz on Thursday described the Russians as suspected al Qaeda members, and said the Turk is suspected of being a facilitator for the terror group.

Mr. Yalcin was arrested Thursday in La Linea, while the Russians were nabbed Wednesday as they traveled by bus toward the French border crossing at Irun.

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