The Catalan regional police force announced Thursday they arrested a man who was allegedly planning to assassinate the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, of the Socialist Party.
Manuel Murillo Sanchez, 63, was arrested in Terrassa, near Barcelona. A private security guard, who is also an expert shot, was arrested on Sept. 19 after the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police) was alerted by members of a chat group were Sanchez repeatedly spoke about shooting the prime minister and asked for logistical support from the group members.
He was reported to have 16 firearms, including a submachine gun Skorpion vz. 61 and four rifles of the highest precision, at his residence. He has confessed and is facing charges for attempting to kill the Prime Minister and for illegal possession of weapons. He is being held at a prison in Martorell near Barcelona.
The Mossos revealed his arrest through a tweet which said, "Arrested a man in Terrassa who tried to kill the Spanish prime minister @sanchezcastejon. The arrested man, who had an arsenal of weapons at home, has already entered prison."
Publico reported that the attempted assassination is a result of “hatred by the extreme right.”
Murillo Sanchez has been described as a far-right person who wanted to kill Pedro Sanchez in “vengeance” over the socialist government's decision to exhume the body of the late dictator General Francisco Franco from the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), in northern Madrid. The remains of the dictator will be given to his family to be buried elsewhere.
He reportedly said, "I am ready to sacrifice myself for Spain."
"He was the perfect lone wolf, a nobody with a gun license whose expertise marksmanship didn’t arouse any suspicion, in the same way, he didn’t arouse suspicion by carrying a pistol because he needed it for his work," a police source told Spanish daily Publico.