Madrid’s Catholic Youth Festival started just this morning, and already Spanish police are feeling the strain of almost 1 million people descending on the city.Today, they arrested a young Mexican organic chemistry student planning to use toxic chemicals to gas anti-Pope protestors, The BBC reports.
The suspect was brought to the attention of authorities by internet users who read his posts on chat rooms.
Police did not find chemicals when they searched the suspect’s apartment, but they did find notebooks filled with equations unrelated to his studies. They also seized his hard drive and computer which, police say, he used to recruit others to join him in his plot.
More than 100 groups fit under the “anti-Pope” umbrella — gay rights groups, pro-choice advocates, and Spain’s young unemployed 15-M indignados who (like others) are frustrated about the Festival’s high cost, to name a few.
“We are not angry about the Pope’s visit, which some will agree with and others won’t, but rather over the financing of it with public money, especially at a time when many services are being cut because it’s necessary to curb government spending,” 15-M said in a statement.
The organisers of the event, however, believe that the Festival will generate $144 million for taxpayers after cost. The government has declined to comment.
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