Colombia detains Cuban accused of planning attack on US citizens

UNDATED, Mar 16:   A Colombian judge on Thursday ordered the detention of a Cuban man who police suspect has links with Islamic militants and who was allegedly planning a bomb attack on a Bogota restaurant frequented by U.S. diplomats.

The judge’s ruling came a day after Colombian police arrested Raul Gutierrez Sanchez, 45, whose mobile phone allegedly contained text messages with details of the planned attack. One text message said he might conduct a suicide attack, police said.

“We cannot underestimate anything,” national police general Jorge Hernando Nieto told journalists. “All institutional capacities are there to counteract possible cells that are in Colombia.”

Gutierrez was located with help from Spanish authorities, police said.

“I’m not Muslim,” Gutierrez told local news media after leaving the hearing. “I fight against the new world order, especially against Americans.”

The U.S embassy in Bogota told local media it was grateful for the work of the police and the attorney general and would continue cooperating with Colombia on the case.

Though Colombia has suffered a more than 50-year internal conflict that regularly included bombings, there is no history of Islamic militant attacks in the country. (AGENCIES)