The Spanish National Police, with support from Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), has arrested three suspects associated with a terrorist cell that was actively recruiting young people. The ECTC provides operational assistance to EU member states to investigate terrorist activities by uncovering financial leads related to the terrorist organizations being investigated.
Authorities made the arrests after searching houses in San Sebastian and Pasaia in northern Spain. The authorities believe that the terrorist cell intended to propagate jihadist terrorism to support the so-called Islamic State. The terrorist cell was spreading jihadist propaganda online through social media accounts to recruit and indoctrinate young people.
The cell had amassed over 10,000 followers on two such accounts. They carried out meetings to train their young recruits physically and mentally to conduct terrorist activities. The investigating authorities also discovered a hierarchical relationship between the members of the terrorist cell. The suspects applied a variety of tactics to hide their online and on-ground criminal activities from law enforcement.
Source name: Europol