National Police detain the leader of a jihadist cell in Algeciras

The security forces have also arrested three people linked to the jihadist in Murcia
PHOTO/POLICÍA NACIONAL  -   La Policía Nacional detiene en Almería a Abdel Majed Abdel Bary, uno de los ‘foreign fighters’ de Daesh más buscados de Europa

PHOTO/POLICÍA NACIONAL  -   National Police officers during an anti-terrorist operation.

National Police officers have arrested a "strongly radicalised" individual in Algeciras (Cádiz) accused of recruitment and terrorist indoctrination for jihadist purposes. The detainee, known in his geographical area for his "extreme radicalism", was the leader of a group whose members considered themselves 'soldiers of the caliphate'. In addition, the security forces have also arrested three people in Murcia who had been recruited and indoctrinated by him. 

The investigation, carried out by the National Police's General Information Commissariat, also involved the provincial information brigades of Murcia and Valencia and the local information brigade of Algeciras.

A year and a half ago, experts in the fight against terrorism detected a person close to the ideals of Daesh who spread radical and violent content on social networks.

Finally, the operation, carried out on Tuesday, has culminated with the ruling of the Central Court of Instruction number 6 of the Audiencia Nacional, which has ordered the imprisonment of the leader of the jihadist cell. An investigation will also be carried out into his main collaborator.

AFP/JOSÉ JORDANIA  -   Imagen de archivo en la que un presunto yihadista es detenido durante una operación de la Policía Nacional
AFP/JOSÉ JORDANIA - National Police officers during an anti-terrorist operation.

During the anti-terrorist operation, five searches were carried out in four homes and a goods lorry, in addition to the seizure of several electronic devices.

Among the multimedia material seized, "investigators have been surprised by the large amount of violent radical content that the leader handled for his indoctrinating work, representing a serious threat to public safety," according to the National Police in a press release.

"The leader regularly held clandestine meetings with this group, where they viewed terrorist material and criticised Western society with extreme violence," the press release added.

According to data from the International Observatory for the Study of Terrorism (OIET), during the past year, the Spanish Security Forces and Corps carried out 22 anti-terrorist operations and arrested 39 radicalised people close to jihadist postulates.

One of the last cases in 2021 was that of a Pakistani national arrested in Seville for disseminating jihadist messages repeatedly alluding to terrorist attacks. The arrested man, for example, praised Zaher Hassan, a terrorist who in September 2020 stabbed two people because he believed they worked for the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

In this context, a Moroccan national who was banned from entering France for jihadism was expelled from Spain this week. The woman was arrested in 2019 in an operation against a cell sending fighters to Syria.