Spanish authorities break up ring seeking female ISIS recruits

Women were being sent to Iraq and Syria to cook, marry combatants and have children

Muslim women are also being recruited by radical islamists to go to Syria and Iraq.
Muslim women are also being recruited by radical islamists to go to Syria and Iraq.Santi Palacios

Spanish police have arrested seven people, including one minor, for allegedly recruiting women to serve the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The arrests took place simultaneously early Tuesday morning in Barcelona, Ceuta, Melilla and the Moroccan municipality of Castillejos, said the Interior Ministry in a press release.

Two of the detainees are women who were about to join ISIS themselves, according to anti-terrorist sources.

The alleged recruiters, two women and a man, were held in Melilla, one of Spain’s two exclaves in North Africa.

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The leaders of the recruitment group lived in Castillejos, where they were detained by the Moroccan police.

The raid was ordered by Spain’s High Court.

“All the detainees are charged with being part of a network to find, recruit and send women to the Syrian-Iraqi front to serve the terrorist organization DAESH,” said the ministry release, which used the Latin-character acronym for ISIS, now preferred in diplomatic circles to avoid using the Islamic State’s own propaganda tools.

On August 3, two young women aged 19 and 14 were stopped as they attempted to cross from Melilla into Moroccan territory to join other women and fly to the combat zones.

The women who join the Jihad in Syria and Iraq typically perform functions such as cooking and marrying combatants to bear them children, said several experts on the matter. The same sources say that there have been no cases so far of women recruited in the West participating in armed conflict in the Middle East.