Spain Arrests Seven Alleged ISIS Supporters For Sending Guns, Bomb Making Materials To Syria, Iraq
Spanish authorities have in a fresh operation arrested seven individuals who have been accused of sending guns and bomb making materials to terrorists on Syria and Iraq. According to a CNN report, the men were part of a cell which was providing logistical support for the ISIS and the Al Nusra Front – the latter operating out of Syria. The seven individuals were arrested following an anti-terror operation launched by the police in the Spanish cities of Alicante and Valencia. Another separate, but related raid was carried out in the city of Ceuta – an autonomous city belonging to Spain located in North Africa, reports add.
The seven men were allegedly sending weapons and bomb making materials disguised as humanitarian aid. Spanish authorities have not revealed the names of the seven individuals arrested as part of this latest terror raid. They did however reveal their nationalities. According to preliminary reports, five of the men posses a Spanish passport but are of Syrian, Jordanian and Moroccan origins. The other two are however Syrian and Moroccan nationals living in Spain.
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According to a statement issued by Spanish Interior Ministry, the arrested ISIS supporters were involved in shipping things ranging from military supplies to electronics and communications equipment. They also shipped firearms and materials commonly used to manufacture explosives. They were also known to occasionally ship large amounts of money. They were packed to make them look like aid materials and were shipped out of spanish ports to Syria and Iraq.
“These continuous shipments directly favored the continuity and the reinforcement of terrorist structures in Syria and Iraq,” the ministry said in the statement.
The statement went on to reveal that the leader of the cell was in constant touch with an ISIS member and that the ISIS member had asked him to help and recruit women who can travel to Syria and marry ISIS fighters there. According to CNN’s Paul Cruickshank, the demand for young women for ISIS fighters is nothing new.
“ISIS wants them to be mothers to the next generation of fighters,” he said.
While, it might seem ridiculous for any sane minded person to leave the comforts of the west and end up in war torn Iraq/Syria, so far an estimated 500 women have traveled from the west to the middle east to join ISIS and other Jihadi groups.
Meanwhile, NBC News reports that the arrests were carried out after a thorough, nearly two-year-long investigation that centered on this group of individuals. The report further adds that a total of twelve searches were carried out at the residences and warehouses of the arrested individuals. Most of the illegal activities were reportedly carried out in the warehouses.
Excerpt from a statement issued by the Spanish Interior Ministry read;
“In total, twelve searches were conducted at the homes of those arrested, as well as in the places and warehouses where they conducted their illegal businesses.”
This is not the first time that a raid on suspected ISIS supporters have been carried out in Spain. Back in October 2015, The Inquisitr had reported about a raid that led to the arrests of four individuals in Spain for having ties to the ISIS. The group included two men and two women. The four were part of a larger group – many of whom were operating out of Morocco.
With the latest arrests, the number of people arrested by Spanish authorities for links to terrorist organizations have risen to 83 since the beginning of 2015. The country also saw several of its citizens indoctrinated by ISIS ever since the Syrian civil war started in 2015.