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Jihadist Recruiter Arrested On Lanzarote

Wednesday July 8, 2015

Jihadist Recruiter Arrested On Lanzarote

Police and security services on Lanzarote yesterday arrested a Spanish female on suspicion of recruiting children and adolescents to join IS. The arrest by armed police took place in Calle Juan Negrin in the La Vega district of the island capital Arrecife.

The woman, an Islamic convert, is believed to have been in direct contact with IS forces and faces charges of encouraging young people from the island to travel to Syria whilst avoiding detection by the Interior Ministry. Legal sources have stated that her attempts to date had been unsuccessful.

This is the first time that the Spanish security services have made an arrest for collaboration with IS in the Canary Islands and brings the total number of arrests for the year to date in Spain up to 40 people. With the bulk taking place in the Spanish North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla as well as in Catalonia.

The Canary Islands are home to an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 Muslims and according to Hussein Ladraf of the Islamic Cultural Centre the vast majority are of traditional Sufi origin “and far removed from radical sects”. It is thought that in total 115 Spanish nationals have joined IS to date.

There has been a noticeable increase in police activity in Spain since the Tunisian outrage, with the Interior Ministry upgrading the alert status from 3 to 4 (on a scale of 5) and yesterdays arrest comes just three days after the apprehension of a man in Barcelona for ‘exalting terrorism’ online.

Yesterday´s arrest underlines the fact that the IS threat has a global reach but Spain´s Interior Minister has stressed that no specific threat of an attack on Spanish territory has yet been uncovered.

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