FIVE suspected terrorists have been arrested in the last two weeks by an EU-funded task force assisting Spain’s Polica Nacional.
Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre swooped on the jihadists, members of the so-called Islamic State, in series of raids.
The arrests were part of two separate anti-terrorist investigations looking into the activities of Islamist militant cells operating on Spanish soil.
The first investigation, known as Operation KITAL, resulted in the arrest of three individuals in Barcelona, Girona and Valencia for terrorist financing.
The main suspect allegedly used a complex network of internationally-registered companies to divert funds to a terrorist militant group with links to the Islamic State based in Libya.
He is believed to be a family member of one of the group’s leaders.
The second investigation, known as Operation FARCOL, resulted in the arrest of two individuals for allegedly recruiting young fighters for the Islamic State in the Spanish city of Melilla.
The Spanish National Police began the investigation two years ago after discovering indoctrination videos for the Islamic State, believed to have been created and distributed by the two suspects.
These two investigations were supported by Europol’s Counter Terrorism Centre which provided continuous intelligence development and analysis to support the Spanish investigators.
Europol experts were also deployed to Spain on the occasion of the two action days to assist the investigators with the cross-checking of operational information gathered during the raids.
What is EUROPOL?
The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known under the name Europol, formerly the European Police Office and Europol Drugs Unit, is the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU) formed in 1998 to handle criminal intelligence and combat serious international organised crime and terrorism through cooperation between competent authorities of EU member states.
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