Jihad supporter planning to join Islamic State arrested in Pamplona

Suspect is a Moroccan national who had recently become visibly radicalized, officials say

Spanish Civil Guards arrest a man accused of collaborating with the Islamic State in Pamplona.
Spanish Civil Guards arrest a man accused of collaborating with the Islamic State in Pamplona.ANDER GILLENEA / AFP

A Moroccan national was arrested in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona early Tuesday morning after attempting to fly to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

The 32-year-old suspect had also been proselitizing in favor of ISIS and recruiting new followers of the jihadist cause inside the teahouse he managed in the Navarrese capital, the Interior Ministry reported.

According to a ministry release, the detainee had already “begun preparing the trip to Syria with the goal of joining DAESH [another acronym for ISIS].”

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Law enforcement agencies had recently been following the suspect after he started “displaying clear signs of radicalization, modifying his behavior and looks, and changing his circle of friends.”

The note adds that this man had stopped talking to some members of his own immediate family due to “his espousal of radical ideas.”

Investigators also found that he used the teahouse computer to download ISIS-related material and show it “to a few customers chosen by himself.” He also worked to find new people willing to travel to Syria.

The investigation is now focusing on finding the suspect’s network of contacts and shed light on the resources he was planning to draw on to travel to Syria.

Spain has made more arrests against jihadist militants than any other EU country this year. Since the Islamist bombings of March 11, 2004 in Madrid, more than 600 Islamist radicals have been detained in the country.

English version by Susana Urra.

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