Jihadist Suspect Who Trained in Syria Arrested in Portugal

Local media says the man had a knife on him when arrested trying to illegally board an Angola-bound flight.

Islamist fighters training in Syria.
Islamist fighters training in Syria.Reuters

REUTERS - Portuguese police have arrested a man trained in a jihadist camp as he was trying to illegally board an Angola-bound plane via its landing gear at Lisbon international airport, local media said on Sunday.

Diario de Noticias newspaper said the police and Portuguese secret services established that the man had received training in a jihadist camp in Syria at the start of this year.

It said the man, born in Angola but holding a Dutch passport, had a knife on him when detained on the tarmac last Thursday. He had earlier been expelled from Turkey and was on authorities' watchlists in various European countries.

He was questioned by a judge on Saturday, who ordered that the man remain in custody due to the risk of him fleeing, SIC television reported. Police officials were not immediately available to comment.

The arrest happened soon after the U.S. government last week pushed for increased security precautions at European airports.

Security authorities are concerned that Al-Qaida operatives in Syria and Yemen could try to blow up U.S. or Europe-bound planes by concealing bombs on foreign fighters carrying Western passports who spent time with Islamist rebel factions in the region.