ISLAMIST TERRORISM

Two arrested over Islamic State links in Catalonia

Suspects were living in Cornellà and using social media to find new recruits

The Civil Guard arrests an alleged jihadist in Cornellà, Barcelona province.
The Civil Guard arrests an alleged jihadist in Cornellà, Barcelona province.Juan Barbosa

Two men were arrested in the town of Cornellà, Barcelona province, on Wednesday on charges of recruiting for the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group.

The two detainees – both of Moroccan origin, although one had Spanish citizenship – are accused of distributing online propaganda to attract new combatants.

In May of this year, the police arrested two other people in Cornellà for distributing material praising ISIS

The suspects are believed to have used social media to keep in touch with terrorists in combat zones, said sources at the Interior Ministry.

They allegedly created accounts where they uploaded images, videos and documents produced by ISIS, with the goal of persuading sympathizers to join the jihad.

The Civil Guard, which carried out the arrests, is also searching the homes of the suspects for evidence of terrorist association.

The operation comes a day after the police arrested three other suspects in Madrid for allegedly planning imminent attacks on Spanish soil in the name of the jihadist organization.

More information

In telephone and internet conversations monitored by security forces, all three are alleged to have said that they had “to act in Spain now.”

In May of this year, the police arrested two other people in Cornellà for distributing material praising ISIS.

Following Wednesday’s operation, Spanish law enforcement agencies have detained 62 suspects in connection with Islamist terrorism this year, making Spain one of the European leaders in anti-jihadist arrests.

Spain is now on alert level four for a jihadist strike after the attack against the French publication Charlie Hebdo in January of this year. The fight against Islamist terrorism has become a priority for Spain’s security forces.

English version by Susana Urra.

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