A Spanish anarchist known for promoting violent insurrection in his writings has been arrested in Portugal on multiple charges, according to Spanish media reports.
Gabriel Pombo da Silva, who had been on the run from Spain since last year, was detained in the town of Monçao on the border with Spain, on suspicion of murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, drug trafficking and possession of illicit weapons, ammunition and explosives. The arrest was carried out with the collaboration of the Portuguese and Italian police forces on the back of a European arrest warrant issued by the Spanish authorities.
The investigation began in 2019, “after [Pombo da Silva] went underground to escape justice, which sought him on numerous pending cases”, according to police information. He “continued to publish manifestos on the anarchist websites where he styled himself as a leader of the movement and called for insurrection,” the police added in a statement.
Pombo da Silva was arrested in January 2017 in Mos, a town in the north western Spanish province of Pontevedra, in relation to the theft of several firearms that police suspected he planned to use to carry out attacks.
His thirty-year criminal activity includes an escape from prison in 2004, following which he fled to Germany where he was jailed again after engaging in an armed confrontation with federal police. Upon his return to Spain, he continued his anarchist militancy, writing a book a book entitled “Diary and ideology of a criminal”, in which he called for armed struggle against the state.
Italian police became involved in the investigation when they were tipped off by their Spanish counterparts that he could be in hiding in Italy, where he is known to have links to the radical anarchist organisation FAI / FRI (Federazione Anarchica Italiana). However in the process of the investigation it was learned that he was residing in in the north of Portugal, near the border with Spain, leading to his arrest on Tuesday.