Islamist vandals attack Spanish church, destroying religious objects and marking wall with the word 'Allah'

Vandals, believed to be Islamist extremists, spray-paint the Arabic word for 'Allah' on the wall of the Church of our Lady of Carmen in the Spanish town of Rincon de la Victoria, Andalucia. At right, a crucifix lies on the church floor after it has been damaged and thrown by the vandals.(

Vandals believed to be Islamic extremists attacked a church in Spain early this week, destroying religious objects and spray-painting the word "Allah" on the wall, reports said.

The attackers raided the Church of our Lady of Carmen in the Spanish town of Rincon de la Victoria, Andalucia on Monday morning, the Daily Express reported.

Last month a Moroccan man was arrested in the same town after he was accused of trying to destroy a statue of the Virgin Mary by throwing a large rock. The 27-year-old man repeatedly shouted the Arabic phrase "Allahu Akbar" – which means "God is great" – while being led away from the shrine by the police, reports said.

The Muslim population in Andalusia has seen remarkable growth in recent years as more migrants from nearby Morocco continue to pour into the town, the Breitbart London website said.

Islamists in the region once reportedly called for an "Andalusia Spring" to "reclaim" Spain for Islam.

The Gatestone Institute reported that websites "frequented by Islamists and jihadists" have been "brimming with calls for the Islamisation of Spain."

Meanwhile, Spanish police said they foiled a Charlie Hebdo-style terror attack in the country following the arrest of three Moroccans who were all set to launch the attack, the Daily Mail reported.

The three were described to be members of a group linked to the jihadist Islamic State (ISIS) group. The police arrested the trio on Tuesday during dawn raids in Madrid, authorities said.

Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the three reportedly planned to launch an attack similar to the one launched by the jihadis at the Charlie Hebdo office Paris in January. In that terrorist attack, 11 people were killed while another 12 were hurt.

Diaz noted that the Muslim suspects who were arrested in recent months in the country were "devoted to attracting, indoctrinating, radicalising, [and] recruiting" people to travel to Syria or Iraq to join the ISIS.

But the three suspects the French police arrested on Tuesday had no such mission, Diaz said. "Their goal was to act in Spain," he said on Cadena Ser radio.

More than 100 people from Spain were reported to have joined ISIS units in Iraq and Syria. Authorities have expressed concern that these Islamist fighters may launch attacks in Spain once they return home.