Spain has charged two Russian nationals of Chechen origin with links to al-Qaeda and possession of explosives, days after they were detained over allegations of involvement in a terror plot.
The men have pleaded not guilty. They are currently under arrest until further court proceedings.
The two are connected with Turk Cengiz Yalcin, who was already charged Friday with storing bomb-making material and a device likely to be used in a terror attack, La Razon, a Spanish newspaper, reports.
One of the suspects’ names is Eldar Magomedov, although he introduced himself as Ahmad Avar to police earlier. The other identified himself as Muhammad Adamov.
Magomedov is known to have been a member of several terrorist organizations, according to the FSB, Russia’s domestic intelligence agency.
He is also known to American security services under the name “Muslin Dost.”
Spain arrested the Russians and the Turk on Wednesday, with Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz saying there are “clear indications” that the suspects were planning a terror attack in Spain or somewhere else in Europe.
Reports quoted Yalcin as saying that he had met the other two in Turkey, and that they had come to Europe seeking asylum.
The men are “extremely dangerous people,” and one is a “very important operative in al-Qaeda’s international structure,” Diaz told AFP.
However, police found no documents confirming the information.
Adamov and Magomedov were arrested on a bus heading for the French border, while Yalcin was detained in a flat located in southern province of Andalucía.
The two Russians were taken to court early Sunday, escorted by masked police officers.
Authorities suggest Adamov and Magomedov are al-Qaeda operatives, while the Turk is simply a facilitator for the notorious group.