In one of Spain's biggest operations against al Qaeda, three suspected members of the terrorist group have been arrested. This comes just days after the U.S. State Department said affiliate groups of al Qaeda continue to rise in places like Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Egypt.
CNN's Erin Burnett has witnessed al-Qaeda's influence first-hand on the border of Mali last week and they continue to gain a foothold in Algeria, Somalia, Niger, Mauritania, and Nigeria.
Outfront tonight: Senior international correspondent Nic Robertson, who's done extensive reporting on al Qaeda, and Seth Jones, author of "Hunting in the Shadows: The pursuit of al-Qaeda after 9/11"
Three terror suspects held in Spain, authorities say
In what the interior minister calls one of Spain's largest operations against al Qaeda, security services said Thursday they arrested three suspected terrorists who might have been plotting attacks on U.S. or British targets.
Two of the men were arrested Wednesday and the third Thursday, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said.
The Interior Ministry said the men were "ready to act in Spain and Europe." One of the men is Turkish, and the other two are believed to be of Russian-Chechen origin. Police sources said they had gathered enough explosives to "blow up a bus."
The two men arrested Wednesday were on a bus traveling to France when police detained them, and Diaz said they "resisted fiercely." Police sources said they were stopped in Almuradiel, a town about midway between Madrid and the country's southern coast.