Spain, Morocco arrest 9 suspected militants linked to ISIL

Spain, Morocco arrest 9 suspected militants linked to ISIL

Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:54PM GMT

Spain’s Interior Ministry says Spanish and Moroccan police have arrested nine suspected members of a militant group linked to ISIL terrorists.

The Spanish ministry said on Friday that the detained men belonged to a group based in the country’s Northern African enclave of Melilla and in the neighboring Moroccan city of Nador.

The leader of the group, a Spaniard, was among those arrested while the remaining eight were Moroccan nationals.

The ministry added that those detained allegedly recruited militants to fight for the ISIL and their leader had coordinated training with groups linked to al-Qaeda in northern Mali along with his brother, a former Spanish soldier and a specialist in arms and explosives.

The joint Spanish-Moroccan operation was the second police raid in a month. On August 14, the two countries’ police dismantled a network for recruiting and sending militants to fight alongside ISIL in Spain’s other Northern African enclave of Ceuta.

The Spanish government, which supports the US-led coalition against ISIL militants, has not taken an active military role against the Takfiri group.

This is while France recently joined the United States and five Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan – in carrying out airstrikes against the ISIL. In addition, Belgium and the Netherlands are also expected to deploy fighter jets in the coming weeks, while British lawmakers are set to hold a vote later on Friday on whether to join the US-led strikes.

The ISIL terrorists control large areas of Syria’s east and north. The ISIL sent its Takfiri militants into Iraq in June, seizing large parts of land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.

According to a CIA source, more than 15,000 foreign fighters from more than 80 countries have gone to Syria to join militant groups. Two thousand of the fighters are believed to be westerners.

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