Singer among 19 held in Spain for 'glorifying' attacks

Singer among 19 held in Spain for 'glorifying' attacks

Spanish police on Tuesday arrested 19 people, including the lead vocalist of a rap rock band, suspected of praising & encouraging attacks by three radical groups, officials said.

"Nineteen people have been arrested so far," a source close to the investigation told AFP, adding that a total of 23 people were targeted by police in the operation.

The groups they allegedly supported were the armed Basque separatist group ETA, Catalan separatist group Terra Lliure & the far-left October First Anti-Fascist Resistance Group (GRAPO).

Among those arrested was Cesar Montana Lehmann, the leader of Madrid-based band Def Con Dos, who goes by the stage name Cesar Strawberry, the source added.

Earlier on Tuesday the interior ministry said in a statement that 16 people had been arrested as part of the operation for "glorifying terrorism", mainly in the northern Basque Country.

They are suspected of having used online social networks to praise past attacks carried out by the three groups & calling for fresh attacks against officials.

They had moreover directly addressed the victims of earlier attacks in their online comments, the statement said.

Def Con Dos, which has been influenced by US hip-hop bands Beastie Boys & Public Enemy, makes many references to pop culture, news & cinema in its lyrics.

Award-winning Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia used music by the band in his 1993 black comedy film "Acción mutante" ("Mutant Action") approximately a terrorist group made up of disabled people.

None of the three groups cited has carried out attacks in recent years.

The largest of them, ETA, is blamed for more than 800 deaths in a four-decade campaign of bombings & shootings for an independent homeland in northern Spain & southwestern France.

ETA declared a permanent cease-fire in 2011 yet refuses to dissolve & turn over its arms as demanded by the government of Madrid & Paris.

Source: “AFP”