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Spain seizes 20,000 military uniforms destined for Isis

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Photo: Spanish National Police
08:52 CET+01:00
Officers seized thousands of uniforms and other military gear on the way to terror groups Isis and al-Nusra Front.

Spain's National Police reported on Thursday that officers had intercepted 20,000 uniforms and other military gear that were being sent to terror groups Isis and al-Nusra Front - the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda.

"With nearly 20,000 uniforms and military accessories seized, they would have been able to equip an entire army, which would be perfectly prepared to enter combat in any of the centres of conflict where terrorist jihadist organizations operate in the world," the Interior Ministry reported on Thursday.

Police had discovered 5,000 kilos of equipment within three different shipping containers - two in Valencia and one in Algeciras - all linked to an international network of companies.

The containers had been declared as "second-hand clothing" so as not to raise suspicions during customs inspections, since one of the companies was listed for exporting and importing used clothes, the Interior Ministry explained. 

The uniforms were hidden among bundles of other kinds of clothing.

The containers had been seized as part of an operation last month when seven people were arrested for their financial and logistical support of the terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

The ministry said that the terror groups had established a network of suppliers worldwide who helped them restock technology, weapons and other military materials at "the best prices and quality of goods".

One of those arrested in February was a man who dispatched "military material, money, electronic and transmission material, firearms and precursors for making explosives" to Syria and Iraq via a company, the police statement said.

This was shipped out in closed containers under the guise of humanitarian aid, and financed by "hawala," an informal system of payment based on trust that is far more difficult to trace than bank transfers.

The leader of the network was in "constant" contact with a member of Isis, who repeatedly asked him to recruit women in order to marry them off to Isis jihadists in Syria, police said last month .

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"This police operation has meant the neutralization of a business scheme, very active and effective in its mission, whose end principal is to supply, preserve and strengthen the military structures of the terrorist organization DAESH [Isis] with constant provisions and continuous war materials, as well as to establish avenues for funding," the ministry wrote in a statement. 

With AFP

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