Police have arrested 10 people in Spain and Morocco for allegedly recruiting and grooming fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, the Spanish interior ministry has said.
Spain’s interior ministry said in a statement that the suspects were detained in the Spanish cities of Toledo and Badalona, and the Moroccan city of Casablanca.
The statement released on Sunday added that those arrested formed “part of an worldwide network which operated mainly in Spain and Morocco to radicalize, indoctrinate and recruit new members, especially women, for the DAESH”, (the Islamic State) in Syria and Iraq.
A total of 156 people have been arrested in Spain in the past four years in counterterrorism operations in the past four years, Fernandez Diaz said.
The women arrested in Spain were both Moroccans, while one of the men was a Spanish national of Moroccan ancestry and the other a Portuguese citizen converted to Islam. In September, the Spanish authorities revealed the arrest of 71 militants.
Europe has been grappling with a growing number of extremist cells on its territory and radicalised Muslims leaving to fight for the Islamic State or joining the rebels in Iraq and Syria.
Fernandez Diaz said that now 80 percent of the recruitment process for terrorists is done online and around 20 per cent happens in physical locations like religious centers or prisons.