Moroccan police arrested the radicalized suspects, who were planning terror attacks in Morocco and UAE, in different operations.
Rabat – After the arrest of a Moroccan ISIS sympathizer on May 20, Spanish police have said the suspect managed to convince several youths to join the terrorist group.
Spanish media reported last week that police arrested the suspect in Bolanos de Calatrava in Spain’s Ciudad Real.
Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) quoted a statement from the Spanish police on May 23 saying the General Commissariat of Information (CGI) in Spain investigated the activity of the terror cell in collaboration with the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) and the European Police Agency (EUROPOL).
The Moroccan mastermind of the cell managed to convince “many young people in his country who planned terror operations in Morocco and the UAE,” the statement said.
Spanish police, in collaboration with Moroccan security services, managed to identify the suspect’s residence in Spain, which led to his arrest. Meanwhile, Morocco’s DGST managed to arrest all additional suspects in several operations.
“During his stay in Spain, [the suspect] resumed his activities in attracting and recruiting new members by grouping many [ISIS] sympathizers and [radicalized] supporters,” the CGI added.
The suspect was holding meetings to recruit suspects at his residence.
“The suspect and his followers went together to some parties that were organized in some neighboring cities where they were criticizing with great violence of some Western customs and showed intense hatred towards those who were participating in these parties,” the statement continued.
The Moroccan ISIS sympathizer had been watching videos of terror attacks in Europe, including the attack against the Charlie Hebdo magazine.
“He recently expressed his hatred towards security forces and expressed his desire to ask them while carrying their duties,” the CGI added.
Spanish news outlet ABC said the cell leader fled Morocco several years ago before settling in Spain.
Spain and Morocco collaborate regularly in the fight against terrorism. The recent operation comes after the arrest of a Moroccan man in Barcelona for his alleged ties with ISIS on May 8. Spain arrested the suspect in collaboration with the United States’ FBI and Morocco’s DGST.