Spanish police have arrested four suspects in connection with a migrant network linked to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).
Authorities believe that ISIS has used this migrant network to bring
militants onto European soil via Turkey, which borders war-torn Syria,
according to the Spanish Interior Ministry. Some of those militants are
believed to have been involved in the Paris attacks in November 2015
that left 130 people dead.
Two of the suspects arrested live in the northwest Spanish region of
Galicia and the other two suspects lived in the southern region of
Andalusia, the ministry said, without providing more information about the suspects and their identities.
The ministry said in a statement that the suspects detained had been
in contact with at least one ISIS suspect, a French national arrested in
the Austrian city of Salzburg a month after the Paris attacks for
suspected links to the attackers in the French capital.
The suspect in Salzburg, arrested alongside another man for suspected
ISIS links, had allegedly been posing as a migrant with a fake Syrian
passport and police subsequently arrested him at a migrant center,
according to Austrian media reports.
Over the last year, Spain has disrupted a number of cells
with links to ISIS, many of them led by North Africans—mostly Moroccan
nationals. Unlike France and Germany, Spain has not faced a radical
Islamist attack since ISIS declared its self-styled caliphate in June
In February, authorities dismantled a suspected ISIS cell in raids
across the country, arresting seven people in the southern port cities
of Valencia and Alicante as well as the Spanish enclave of Cueta, which
The following month, Spanish police seized 20,000
military uniforms and accessories—destined for militant groups in Syria
and Iraq—in Algeciras and Valencia, in March. In October, Spanish
police arrested two Moroccan imams
on the resort island of Ibiza for alleged support of ISIS and the
incitement of jihad. Since raising its terror threat level to four out
of five in June 2015—following an ISIS attack on tourists on a beach in
Tunisia— Spain has arrested approximately 168 people on suspicion of
radical Islamist activity.