Friday, April 12, 2024
HomeIran News NowLatest News on Iranian TerrorismSpanish Newspaper Exposes Intricate Network Behind Vidal Quadras Assassination Attempt

Spanish Newspaper Exposes Intricate Network Behind Vidal Quadras Assassination Attempt

Prof. Alejo Vidal Quadras

On February 4, Spanish newspaper El Mundo released a comprehensive investigative report shedding light on a complex web of criminal activities surrounding the attempted assassination of Alejo Vidal Quadras, a former political leader, in Madrid. The report delves into the involvement of the Mocro Mafia, an organization with ties to North African criminal groups, in orchestrating the attack.

The investigation uncovers a series of intricate connections between the perpetrators who played crucial roles in facilitating the operation. Despite arrests made following the incident, key figures managed to evade authorities, attempting to flee the country.

The report highlights the international ramifications of the attack, drawing attention to potential links to the Iranian regime and its involvement in similar targeted assassinations. It raises questions about the depth of collaboration between criminal organizations and foreign governments and underscores the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in combating transnational crime.

A translated version of el Mundo’s investigative reporting follows:

Mocro Mafia Assassin Involved in Stoning Hired to Kill Alejo Vidal Quadras

el mundo alejo vidal assasination

The Mocro Mafia issued a directive, unmistakably an order rather than a mere request. Sources close to the investigation revealed that a leader within this organization, influential both in the Netherlands and France, identified Mohraz Ayari, a 27-year-old French-Tunisian Parisian resident, as a suitable candidate to assassinate Alejo Vidal Quadras. Vidal Quadras, the former 78-year-old leader of the People’s Party of Catalonia and one of the founders of Vox, was targeted due to Ayari’s demonstrated aptitude in such criminal acts.

Ayari had previously exhibited his proficiency in crime by orchestrating the murder of a trusted associate who had betrayed the interests of one of Europe’s most perilous drug trafficking and money laundering syndicates. His execution of the betrayal was so brutal that the victim’s identity was rendered unrecognizable, an act carried out intentionally to impede evidence gathering and, more significantly, to transmit a clear warning to potential dissenters.

Ayari’s extensive criminal history, spanning from childhood to adulthood, includes both violent and non-violent offenses such as theft, burglary, and assault. His criminal record extends across borders, with documented incidents in Greece, Turkey, and Abu Dhabi. According to sources familiar with his background, Ayari is considered to have a predisposition towards violence, earning him the label of a “born killer.” While the murder of a trusted individual and the attempted assassination of Vidál Quadras are notable crimes linked to him, authorities remain uncertain if these are his only violent acts. Ayari has evaded capture by fleeing from France and activating another arrest warrant in Spain, where he managed to escape through Portugal. Currently, he is listed as one of the wanted murderers on Interpol’s red notice list, making him subject to arrest in 169 countries worldwide if apprehended.

According to sources cited by Cronica (El Mundo’s investigative section), the assassination of Vidál Quadras marks the first instance of this mafia organization carrying out a targeted killing in Spain that is unrelated to internal disputes. As far as known, it will also be the first case involving a Spanish citizen. Currently, it remains unclear who commissioned this operation. However, investigators, particularly those focusing on Iran, suspect that the attack was planned and executed within a relatively short timeframe of three months, which is unusual for such operations. Around the time of the incident, Vidál Quadras reportedly asked a fellow member of the European Parliament, who shared his stance against the Iranian regime, about his behavior when walking in public—whether he was vigilant of his surroundings or felt the need to look back upon hearing footsteps. Weeks later, La Vanguardia newspaper reported that his friend grasped the gravity of the question and its implications.

The Mocro Mafia, an organization linked to criminal networks of North African origin, primarily operates in controlling drug trafficking in northern Europe, particularly the Netherlands. While relatively unknown in Spain, experts anticipate that its influence, which has turned parts of the Netherlands into troubled areas, may extend to Spain in the coming years.

The roots of this mafia trace back to the 1980s, but it solidified its presence in the current millennium by establishing connections with Latin American cocaine cartels through active operations in Rotterdam. Its notoriety gained international attention on July 6, 2021, following the assassination of Peter R. de Vries, a renowned investigative journalist in the Netherlands. Subsequently, revelations emerged about threats made against numerous Dutch judges, prompting Prime Minister Mark Rutte to halt his cycling routine due to concerns for his safety. The brazenness of the Mocro Mafia was further demonstrated by threats of abduction against Princess Amalia of the Netherlands, the daughter of Kings Willem and Máxima, resulting in her confinement to the palace for security reasons.

In Spain, the first documented death attributed to the Mocro Mafia was that of Ibrahim Bouzid, a Dutch Moroccan known as “Al Carnisero” (the Butcher), a nickname derived from his father’s profession. His body was discovered a few years ago in Chiclana de la Frontera. The perpetrators, traveling in a red Kia Sportage, discarded his body on a remote road before fleeing the scene. Subsequently, it came to light that five individuals from the Netherlands had been apprehended in connection with his assassination. Additionally, it was revealed that Ridovan Taghi, the leader of one of the prominent families within the Dutch faction of the mafia, was the individual who had placed a bounty on Al Carnisero’s head, whether or not he was directly involved in the murder. Notably, Taghi was the same individual who had previously threatened Peter R. de Vries.

It’s intriguing that Taghi has connections to the Iranian regime. Several years ago, The Telegraph newspaper reported that Taghi, prior to his incarceration in what’s dubbed the “Alcatraz of the Netherlands,” was involved in “executions” across Europe. Although this association neither constrains nor restricts his activities, there’s no evidence to suggest he has personally operated in our country. Karim Bouyakhrichan, Taghi’s rival, who was apprehended in Spain on January 25th, was the most sought-after individual in the Netherlands. He managed a substantial drug trafficking and money laundering enterprise inherited from his brother, based in Marbella on the southern coast of Spain, for which he paid with his life. It’s rumored that his downfall stemmed from the loss of a cocaine shipment. The recent interest of the Mocro Mafia in Spain is directly linked to the geographical position of our country, whose northern coast provides an open gateway, for instance, from Colombia, for drug trafficking operations.

The attack employed a motorcycle, which was later abandoned and found burnt on Canary Street in an industrial estate in Fuengirola. Clues from this vehicle led investigators to the criminal group involved in the attack.

However, at this juncture of the investigation, it cannot be definitively stated that either of these two criminals, including the one residing in Spain, is linked to the attack on Vidál Quadras. French authorities, the assassin’s country of origin, are also probing whether the order could have originated from their territory. These groups don’t adhere to a fixed pattern of sending a killer to execute a crime; rather, they tend to act opportunistically, establishing varying levels of infrastructure for each operation. At least in this instance, they exhibited such behavior.

Typically, the initial overt move in preparing for this attack was the acquisition of a motorcycle used by Ayari for the operation. To obtain it, the group enlisted the help of Adrian Ruiz, a 22-year-old individual from Mijas, to travel to Madrid and purchase a BMW motorcycle using his ID card, although it remains unclear whether he was proficient in riding it or not. They provided him with 4000 euros for the motorcycle and an additional 500 euros for personal assistance, instructing him to insure it from October 14th to November 19th for one month to mitigate any potential issues in case of an accident.

Adrian Ruiz made a commitment, not to purchase the vehicle, as he claims he didn’t know its intended use, but to allow certain members of the group to fraudulently utilize his identity documents. Furthermore, following their instructions, he filed a false report claiming the theft of the motorcycle.

Greg Oliver Higuera, a Venezuelan national, tasked Adrian Ruiz with locating and purchasing a motorcycle. Apparently, they were acquainted, both employed as guards at a beach bar. Greg, who frequently traveled to his home country and Italy, was entrenched in the drug scene, acquainted with Sami Bekal, known as Pachu. Bekal, who had been orchestrating the activities of this group, is regarded as the mastermind behind the infrastructure in Spain. He is familiar with criminals involved in the drug trade in Ceuta, Melilla (coastal cities in southern Spain bordering Morocco and northern Morocco, which are part of Spain), and several cities in southern Spain. He financed this operation using accounts not under his name and intermediaries to evade detection.

Bekal also enlisted Naraya Gomez, a criminal from Malaga, who was born to a Czech woman who died during childbirth, and a Spanish father who bestowed upon him the title El Sirio (the Syrian). He spent his formative years in Beneficio in Alpujarras. Three weeks before the attack, Adrian Ruiz, Sami Bekal, and Naraya Gomez convened in Lanjaron to coordinate the assault’s particulars. Bekal opted for the Balneario Hotel for lodging, while Naraya Gomez booked a room in a modest locale in the city (which raises questions about the financial resources available in the Mocro Mafia). Despite initial reluctance (as explained in another report, they acquiesced only when the hotel owner insisted on ID registration), they and Adrian Ruiz registered.

Bekal arrived in Lanjaron on October 15, followed by Gomez and Ruiz on October 17. The assailant extended his stay for at least four additional days. According to El Confidencial, they all utilized a ground-floor residence rented by a former hippie (Naraya Gomez) because of his familiarity with the area and its suitability for finalizing the stay’s details.

On November 6, three days before the attempted assassination, Bekal, the financial backer of the operation, transferred €250 to a Spanish bank account to cover expenses. Law enforcement identified Naraya Gomez and Adrian Ruiz in CCTV footage from businesses in the Salamanca neighborhood (Vidal’s residential area). It was confirmed that the assailant, the day before the nearly fatal gunshot, was riding a motorcycle that had been reported lost on Zarzuela road, where he had inquired about directions to the hotel he intended to lodge at. Around that time, the attack coordinator, Bekal, was departing Spain, presumably boarding a ship destined for Morocco.

At 1:30 PM on November 9, eyewitnesses identified a young man, 1.75 meters tall, dressed in jeans and a blue jacket, as the individual who aimed a 9mm Parabellum pistol at Alejo Vidal’s head. His shot missed as the politician made a sudden movement, causing the bullet to graze his cheekbone. He responded to bystanders who offered help and called for ambulances, saying, “Let’s wait and see if he comes back or not.” His wife, frustrated by unanswered calls, scolded him for not carrying his phone during his routine walks, unaware that the person who answered was one of the ambulance staff attending to her husband at the hospital.

Two hours later, at 15:39, municipal police reported to the National Police the discovery of a burnt and abandoned motorcycle on Canary Street in an industrial estate in Fuengirola, located half an hour away from the shooting scene. The perpetrator(s) failed to effectively damage the chassis number. It has been revealed that eight days later, Naraya Gomez sent a message to the coordinator stating, “The mission is complete.” It is not entirely clear why it took her so long to make contact, although neither she nor her life partner, an English woman seemingly unaware of the events, were the individuals who transported the assassin to the Portuguese border to facilitate his escape. Subsequently, threatening messages from Adrian Ruiz to his contact in the Mocro Mafia have been documented, likely due to delays in covering the expenses of the job, possibly because they did not achieve their intended objective.

Since then, there has been no further communication from Naraya Gomez, her partner, or Bekal. On November 21, Naraya Gomez and her partner were apprehended, along with Adrian Ruiz. Upon the release of this news, Greg Oliver Higuera hurried to Barajas Airport (Madrid) to catch a flight to Venezuela, using a ticket he purchased with cash. Naraya Gomez has since been incarcerated, subject to treatment under FIES, a protocol for managing dangerous inmates. Oliver was detained on January 17th while attempting to illegally cross the Colombian border, a nation where the Mocro Mafia maintains numerous connections. He was apprehended near Villa del Rosario and was surprised to discover an Interpol red alert for terrorism issued against him.

The investigation persists with numerous unanswered questions. The primary inquiry revolves around who ordered the assassination and why. Initially, national security sources stated, “There is no concrete evidence implicating a foreign government in this attack.” They emphasized that the Iranian government has eliminated various other targets and has not been unsuccessful in its endeavors. With this analysis, they attempted to counter the assertion made by Vidal Quadras, who clearly accused the Iranian regime of orchestrating attempts on his life. The regime, he claimed, had even mentioned this six days prior to the shooting on its Spanish-language television channel and had collaborated with at least one of the most influential Mocro Mafia families on previous occasions to carry out assassination orders. Police experts consider this possibility alongside other potential scenarios.