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Terrorism
 

Members of a Daesh cell arrested in Spain and Morocco

At least 14 have been arrested in a joint operation between Morocco and Spain, in the outskirts of Madrid and in various Moroccan cities like Casablanca and Fez.

 

SOURCES Agencies, BBC AUTHOR Evangelical Focus MADRID 25 AUGUST 2015 11:15 h GMT+1
Spanish police arrested a man accused of recruiting for Islamic State in Melilla on July 22 / Reuters

Spain and Morocco have arrested 14 people suspected of recruiting fighters to join Daesh in Syria and Iraq, Spain's Interior Ministry said.



The arrests were made in the outskirts of Madrid and in other cities and towns in Morocco



 “The detainees formed part of a network to recruit and send foreign fighters to join the ranks of the terrorist organization Daesh in the Syrian-Iraqi region under its control,” Spain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.



The latest arrests took place in the San Martin de la Vega district of Madrid, and in the Moroccan cities of Fez, Casablanca, Nador, al-Hoceima and Driouech.



The Spanish interior ministry said the operation was ongoing, without giving specific details.



 



A THREAT FOR EUROPE



On Friday a Moroccan who had lived in Spain was arrested following a foiled attack on a high-speed French train.



Ayoub El-Khazzani, 25, originally from Tetouan in northern Morocco, arrived in Spain in 2007 and lived there for seven years, in Madrid and Algeciras, before moving to France.



He is suspected of having had contact with radical Islamists and had been put on a list marked as "potentially dangerous" by Spanish authorities. They flagged this up to French counterparts in February 2014.



According to a Spanish official, Spain alerted European Union antiterrorism authorities in March 2014 that El-Khazzani represented a threat. Belgian authorities believe he may have been in Belgium in early 2015, but decided that he didn’t represent enough of a threat to warrant close monitoring.



Spanish counter-terrorism sources said that some 800 people with a radical Islamist profile were in Europe and ready to strike, having returned from Syria and Iraq.



Both Spain and Morocco have arrested dozens of suspected radical Islamists in recent years.



Islamic State fighters have overrun large parts of Syria and Iraq since launching an offensive in June 2014 in western Iraq.


 

 


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