Spain arrests four with suspected links to extremist militants

Published: February 23, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

MADRID: Spanish and Moroccan police arrested four people accused of recruiting potential militants to fight in Syria and Iraq or to carry out attacks in Spain or Morocco, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

Three Spaniards were detained in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Africa and one Moroccan in Nador, Morocco, as part of a joint operation between the two countries, the ministry said.

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Including the arrests on Tuesday, Spain has detained 12 people with suspected links to militants so far this year. In 2015, Spain arrested 102 people accused of connections to the Islamic State, more than twice that in the previous year as police stepped up security measures after attacks in Paris.

Seven arrested in Spain over suspected extremist links

Authorities also arrested nine people accused of belonging to and collaborating with a criminal and terrorist organisation due to connections with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Ceuta is one of two Spanish territories on the Moroccan coast – the other is Melilla – and has been a focus of Spanish anti-militant investigations. In March 2015 Spain said it had dismantled a militant cell in the enclave that it said was ready to attack either Spain or other targets in Europe.

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