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Spain Arrests Six Terrorist Internet “Recruiters”

From the NYT’s International Herald Tribune:

Spanish police arresting Abdelkader Ayachine, an Algerian the Interior Ministry says was involved in an Islamist cell that recruited fighters through the Internet.

Spanish police arrest 6 suspected jihad recruiters

By Victoria Burnett
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

MADRID: The authorities arrested six North Africans in Spain on Wednesday on suspicion of belonging to an international network that promotes jihad on the Internet and recruits fighters, the Interior Ministry announced.

The Civil Guard, the nation’s rural police force, said it detained five men and a woman in Burgos Province in northern Spain. The authorities were searching six houses and a butcher’s shop run by the men and had confiscated documents and computer hard drives, the ministry said in its statement.

The ministry said it was the first time the Spanish authorities had broken up a suspected recruiting and propaganda network operating chiefly on the Internet. The group was using private chat rooms and Internet forums to disseminate “radical propaganda,” the authorities said, and was recruiting people to fight in various locations, particularly Iraq.

It was also collecting money for Islamist prisoners, including some of those jailed in Morocco in connection with the May 2003 bombings in Casablanca that killed dozens and wounded more than 100 people.

The group arrested in Burgos is part of a “more complex and extensive” international group, the Interior Ministry said. The investigation has involved security agencies in Switzerland, the United States and Denmark.

The authorities said the two main suspects were an Algerian, Abdelkader Ayachine, and a Moroccan, Wissan Lotfi. The others were identified as Mohamed Mouas, Smaine Kadoucio and Yahia Drif of Algeria, and Fatima Zahrae Raissouni, a Morrocan woman.

The Interior Ministry said Ayachine had for years collected “zakat,” the charitable donations that are a strong tradition in Islam, at his shop and sent them to the Moroccan prisoners.

The ministry said he had a criminal record, including convictions for homicide and domestic violence, and had served time in prison, but an Interior Ministry spokeswoman could not say where. He had become more religiously radical over the past few years and changed the way he dressed, the statement said…

As events in Spain constantly show, appeasement doesn’t help either.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 25th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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