Spain: 2 arrested for suspected links to Islamic State

Jan 13, 2017

Spain's Interior Ministry says that police have arrested two people for suspected links to the Islamic State group

MADRID — Spanish police on Friday arrested two people for suspected links to the Islamic State group, the Interior Ministry said.

In a separate operation, the ministry said police seized 8,000 guns and rifles Thursday and arrested five Spaniards suspected of buying disused weapons to recondition them and put them on the black market for international extremist and organized crime groups.

The ministry said that the two people arrested Friday in Spain's North African enclave city of Ceuta had undergone a long process of radicalization and formed part of a group that was advancing toward carrying out terror activities.

It said police were searching six houses and premises in the city, which is bordered by Morocco on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other.

There were no immediate details on the identity of the detainees.

The ministry said Spanish police have arrested 180 suspected jihadi activists over the past two years, many of them in Ceuta.

Spain has been one step below maximum security alert since attacks in Europe and elsewhere in 2015.

The ministry said Thursday's operation stemmed from an investigation into the guns used in the suspected jihadi attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels in 2014 that killed four people. It wasn't immediately clear if police found that the arms used in the attack came from the Spanish group.

The arrests were made in several towns across northern Spain.

A ministry statement said the group bought the out-of-commission weapons legally but reconditioned and sold them illegally.