14 held in ‘anti-terror’ raids in Spain and Morocco
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14 held in ‘anti-terror’ raids in Spain and Morocco

Authorities crack down on recruiters working with the Islamic State group to send foreign fighters to Syria

Illustrative: A screenshot of a Islamic State video released in February 2015 that encourages Muslims in France and Belgium to conduct terrorist attacks in their home countries. The two men pictured are French-speaking foreign jihadists. (screen capture: al-Jazeera)
Illustrative: A screenshot of a Islamic State video released in February 2015 that encourages Muslims in France and Belgium to conduct terrorist attacks in their home countries. The two men pictured are French-speaking foreign jihadists. (screen capture: al-Jazeera)

MADRID, Spain — Fourteen people were arrested Tuesday in Spain and Morocco during an “anti-terrorist operation” targeting recruiters for the Islamic State group, Spain’s interior ministry said.

The operation was continuing, the ministry said, without giving any details.

The intelligence services of both countries “today arrested 14 people in Martin de la Vega (in the Madrid region) and in Fez, Casablanca, Nador, Al Hoceima and Driouech in Morocco.”

“Those arrested belong to a network recruiting and sending foreign fighters to join the ranks of the Islamic State,” it said.

The IS launched an offensive in June 2014 north of Baghdad and has since overrun large parts of Iraq and Syria.

It has been accused of crimes against humanity and a slew of barbaric attacks, beheadings, rape and ethnic cleansing.

Europe has been grappling with growing jihadist cells and radicalized Muslims leaving to fight for the Islamic State or joining the rebels in Iraq and Syria.

France has the highest overall numbers joining the jihad, with the government reporting that 843 had left for Syria as of May — more than half of them unknown to authorities at the time of their departure.

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