Friday, 30 May 2014
From wsj (hat tip: Maria José)
MADRID--Spanish security forces Friday arrested six suspected jihadists, including a veteran of the conflict in Mali, in a series of predawn raids in the north African enclave of Melilla designed to break up a recruitment cell there.

Spain's Interior ministry said the cell was recruiting jihadist volunteers to be sent to fight in Mali and Libya. The veteran jihadist arrested in the operation is the first Spanish national known to have fought in Mali and later returned to Spain, the ministry added.

This is the latest of a series of similar police operations in Melilla--a Spanish territory with a population of about 80,000, half of them Muslims of Moroccan ancestry--and the nearby Spanish exclave of Ceuta.

Local officials have long expressed concern that the two unemployment--hit towns, mostly dependent on government subsidies and a service sector catering to civil servants and Spanish military deployed there, are becoming breeding grounds for Islamist extremism.

In March this year, four suspected militants were arrested in Spain and three in Morocco in a similar operation, targeting a cell that sent jihadists to Syria, in addition to Mali and Libya.

In September last year, Spanish police detained in Ceuta the suspected leader of a network that allegedly recruited Muslims from the two enclaves. Eight members of the same cell had been arrested just a few weeks before.

Yassin Ahmed Laarbi, a Spanish national, was preparing to join a jihadist group in Syria as he was detained, officials said.

Dozens of Spaniards, mostly from the two enclaves, are believed to have joined jihadist groups in North Africa and Syria, often fighting in groups linked to al Qaeda and taking part in suicide bombings.

As in other European countries, these volunteers are usually recruited online. 


Anonymous said...

Britain to possibly hold its first secret trial of alleged terrorists

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