Spain, Morocco arrest 14 suspected Islamic State recruiters

Interior ministry says individuals ‘sending foreign fighters’ to join ranks of terror group

Spanish and Moroccan authorities have arrested 14 people suspected of recruiting fighters to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Above an Islamic State member waves a flag linked to the group in Raqqa, Syria. Photograph: Reuters.

Spanish and Moroccan authorities have arrested 14 people suspected of recruiting fighters to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Above an Islamic State member waves a flag linked to the group in Raqqa, Syria. Photograph: Reuters.

 

Spanish and Moroccan authorities have arrested 14 people suspected of recruiting fighters to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Spain’s interior ministry said on Tuesday that suspects were being detained in the outskirts of Madrid and in other cities and towns in Morocco.

The arrests were linked to “a network ... capturing and sending foreign fighters to join the ranks of the terrorist organisation Daesh (Islamic State) in the Syrian-Iraq region that it controls,” the ministry statement said.

The operation comes days after a 26-year-old Moroccan man was accused of attacking passengers on a train in France, armed with a Kalashnikov, an assault rifle and a box cutter knife.

Spanish authorities had advised French intelligence about the suspect Ayoub El-Khazzani because he belongs to the “radical Islamist movement”.

French authorities said he had lived in the southern Spanish city of Algeciras, frequenting a mosque which is under surveillance there.

Spain and other countries in Europe and north Africa have said they are alarmed about the risk of locals joining militants abroad and returning to launch attacks at home.

Reuters