Spain to protect Turkey from ISIS terror threat

Spain will deploy 130 soldiers and anti-ballistic missiles to Turkey's southern border but won't take part in any actual fighting against terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the country's Defence Minister announced on Wednesday.

Spain to protect Turkey from ISIS terror threat
An image made available by Jihadist media outlet Welayat Raqa allegedly shows a member of the IS (Islamic state) militant group parading with a long-range missile. Photo: Welayat Raqa/AFP

Pedro Morenés informed journalists that Spain will replace Holland as part of a NATO initiative which isn’t part of the US-led United Nations offensive on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq that Spain will also contribute counterintelligence assistance to.

The 130 Spanish soldiers deployed to the southern Turkish city of Adana will look to guarantee the safety of the local population against “a possible air attack or ballistic missiles from its southern border” with Syria.

READ ALSO: 'We will take back Spain' – Syrian jihadists

The military dispatch won’t however be fighting “on the ground” or taking part in “air raids” across the border in Turkey’s warn-torn neighbours of Iraq and Syria, Spanish national daily El País reported Spain’s Defence Minister as saying.

Six Patriot anti-ballistic missile launchers will be added to the four deployed by Germany and the United States after NATO ally Turkey called for aid to defend itself against possible attacks from Syria.

In related news, Spain's Foreign Minister announced on Tuesday his government plans to amend the country's penal code so that Spaniards joining foreign conflicts and radical Islamic groups such as ISIS can be prosecuted on terrorism charges.

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WATCH: Spanish police arrest ‘most wanted’ ISIS suspect hiding out in Spanish lockdown

A former British rapper and notorious Islamic state suspect has been arrested in Spain, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

WATCH: Spanish police arrest 'most wanted' ISIS suspect hiding out in Spanish lockdown
Photo: Ministry Interior

Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a former rapper from west London who once posted an image of himself holding a severed head on Twitter, has been arrested in the southern coastal city of Almeria, the source said.

Police had on Tuesday announced the arrest of “one of the most wanted foreign terrorist fighters of Daesh” — the Arabic acronym for Islamic State — identifying him as an Egyptian national but without giving his name or saying exactly when he was detained.

Speaking to AFP, a Spanish judicial source confirmed it was Bary.   

Police said the suspect “had recently entered Spain illegally and was found hiding in a rented flat” in Almeria where several other people were also arrested.

“He is one of the most wanted terrorists in Europe on grounds of his criminal record within the ranks of Daesh and because he is extremely dangerous,” a police statement said.

Before arriving in Spain, Bary spent “several years in conflict zones in Syria and Iraq”, police said, describing him as presenting “some very strange personality traits and an extremely violent criminal profile which had brought him to the attention of Europe's police and intelligence services”.

Born in London, Bary shot to notoriety after his Twitter post in which could be seen holding up the severed head alongside the caption: “Chillin' with my homie, or what's left of him”.

He is the son of Adel Abdel Bary, an Egyptian who in 2015 was sentenced to 25 years behind bars by a US court for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 and wounded more than 5,000 others.