Police seize ‘world jihad’ team

MADRID, Spain (CNN) — Six suspected Islamic militants were Wednesday arrested in northern Spain on suspicion of using the Internet to recruit for and plot a ‘world jihad,’ a Ministry of Interior statement said.

The arrests came in Burgos province, a few hours’ drive north of Madrid.

The six, allegedly linked to international Islamic terrorist activity, were seized in an operation involving U.S., Danish and Swedish intelligence agencies, the statement said.

“A large part of the activity was carried out on restricted Internet ‘chats’ and forums, which shows that the cell arrested was the first one detected and dismantled in Spain that promoted ‘world jihad’ through the Internet,” the statement said.

Police were searching the homes of the six suspects and also a butcher shop run by one of them. Documents and computers were seized, the statement said.


Some of the money raised by the group allegedly was sent to Islamic terrorist convicts or suspects in prison, it said.

The alleged ringleader is Abdelkader Ayachine, an Algerian, and his top aide, Wissan Lotfi, a Moroccan. They were allegedly preaching violent jihadi ideology to promote an international “holy war,” especially in Iraq, the statement said.

Spain has detained 250 suspected Islamic terrorists since the Madrid train bombings in 2004 that killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800 others.

Spain’s defense minister recently told radio network SER. But most of those arrests have been in Madrid, Barcelona, and coastal areas.

A verdict in the Madrid bombing trial is expected next week. The trial earlier this year involved 28 defendants, mostly Islamic terrorist suspects.

Last week in Madrid, another terrorism trial began with 30 defendants, mostly Algerians, charged in what prosecutors said was a failed suicide truck bombing plot against the National Court in central Madrid.

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CNN, USA
Oct. 24, 2007
CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman
www.cnn.com

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This post was last updated: Oct. 24, 2007