The Viking expedition that left from Loira (France) leadered by Björn Ironside , son of the leader Ragnar Lodbrok, like the leader Hastein. According to the historian Ali ibn al-Athir Viking troops camped somewhere nearby the city. The group of raiders consisted of Irish and Danish soldiers with a fleet of 62 warships that Al-Zuhri in his Kitab al-Yu’rafiya they were named by the Arabs as qaraqir (carracas), there were large ships, with square sails that sailed both forward and backward.
After a three-day siege, burning the mosques in the medina where it is referenced in “La Estoria de España”, the book written on the initiative of Alfonso X el Sabio who is the first original on the history of Spain. The invaders entered the city with the intention of capturing booty forcing the inhabitants to escape to the hills near the city. Among the ravages that the assailants committed highlighted the fire of the mosque called “Alhadra”; before the sight of the main building of the burning city, the “algecireños” mounted in wrath and expelled to the Normans of the town. En la refriega capturaron dos de los drakkars with whose wood they built the doors and beams of a new mosque.
Antonio Torremocha on his study named Algeciras musulmana y cristiana (ss. VIII-XIV) (Heritage, Culture and Middle Age Ciences), “In the year 859 a fleet consisting of sixty vessels from the Thanet island arrived at the bay of Algeciras. As refers Ibn ‘Idari, the Vikings seized the city and burned the mosque aljama. Ibn al-Atir adds that before siege the city they camped in the nearby to start a battle from there. This author also writes that they burned the great mosque. Al-Himyari -following to Al-Idrisi- claimed that, when it was rebuilt, the racks of one of the doors of the new mosque were built with the wood of the captured Norman ships “.
They continued their expedition crossing the Strait of Gibraltar towards Nelor, in Morocco, to then go to the Balearic Islands. Upon his return, the fleet is surprised by the Mohamed I de Córdoba, and although they were seriously damaged, it manages to return to its base with 20 ships, three years later, in 862 AD.