Five ji­hadi sus­pects ar­rested in Spain, Bel­gium, Ger­many

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Po­lice in Spain, Bel­gium and Ger­many yesterday ar­rested five peo­ple sus­pected of form­ing a cell that spread pro­pa­ganda and sought to re­cruit mil­i­tants for the Is­lamic State armed group, of­fi­cials said.

The Span­ish In­te­rior Min­istry said the cell, made up of four Spa­niards and one Moroc­can, posed “a grave, concrete and con­tin­ued threat to se­cu­rity in Europe.”

A min­istry state­ment said the five worked for the Is­lamic State group by spread­ing in­for­ma­tion on sev­eral in­ter­net sites, among them a Face­book page called “Is­lam en Es­panol” (Is­lam in Span­ish). The site, al­legedly man­aged by two sus­pects ar­rested in Bel­gium and Ger­many, had 32,500 fol­low­ers and was grow­ing rapidly, the min­istry added.

The state­ment said one sus­pect was ar­rested in Brus­sels and an­other in Wup­per­tal, Ger­many. Two ar­rests took place in the north-eastern Span­ish city of Barcelona and one in the north African Span­ish en­clave city of Melilla.

The min­istry said the group praised and en­cour­aged IS at­tacks and sought re­cruits. The min­istry said the cell di­rected its ac­tiv­i­ties to­ward young Mus­lims of north­west African back­ground.

The min­istry said 113 sus­pected pro-ji­had ac­tivists have been ar­rested in Spain since 2015 while Span­ish po­lice had helped ar­rest 30 more in other coun­tries.

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