By Cindy Basha
By Cindy Basha
Rabat – A Spanish citizen has confessed to having sent over 200 ISIS jihadists to Syria.
Investigators believe Mustapha Maya Amaya ran one of ISIS’s most important European recruitment networks, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
He used social media sites to recruit combatants internationally from countries such as France, Tunisia, Turkey, Belgium, Egypt, Morocco and Indonesia. He used the alias “Abu Jihad” as his name of Facebook.
Social networking is one of ISIS’s most used strategies in recruiting young militants.
French and Spanish investigators suspect that Maya Amaya recommended weapons to the network’s new recruits. French investigators believe these arms were from the same stock as those used in the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the November 13 Paris attacks. It is believed these arms were purchased in Egypt and came from the Libyan army.
Police say they have evidence of Maya Amaya advising one individual to buy arms in Egypt to save money.
Maya Amaya is the first Spanish citizen arrested for recruiting ISIS members. The 52-year-old converted to Islam, changed his name from Rafael to Mustapha and married a Moroccan citizen.
Amaya has been fleeing Moroccan authorities since 2012. He moved to the Spanish city of Melilla and lived in the District of La Canada, one of the city’s poor neighborhoods.
Police have also collected over 25,000 conversations that Amaya had electronically and over the phone which he may have had with extremists.
Maya Amaya denied the charges since his arrest in May 2014. He still denies having recruiting them, insisting he only helped them travel to Syria.
French investors discovered Maya Amaya’s involvement with ISIS following their investigations on the attack on Paris in November.