• Spain's news in English

Police arrest seven for recruiting women for Isis

AFP/The Local · 16 Dec 2014, 09:39

Published: 16 Dec 2014 09:39 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Spain's interior ministry said four women, one of them a minor, and three men were arrested in Barcelona, Spain's North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and in the nearby Moroccan town of Castillejos.

"All of the arrested are accused of forming part of a network that recruited and sent women to the  Syria-Iraq front to the terrorist organization Daesh," it said in a statement, using a term used by many governments use to call the militant group Isis.

Police were searching six homes as part of the operation, which was carried out in cooperation with Moroccan security forces.

One of those arrested was 25-year-old Chilean woman Francis Carolina Peña Orellana, Catalan daily La Vanguardia reported.

She had left Chile at the age of 16 and hadn't returned, according to the deputy secretary for Chile's interior minister Mahmud Aleuy. 

The arrests comes just days after a judge in Madrid revealed a mosque in the city was being used as a hub of operations for a cell recruiting fighters for Isis. 

About 100 Spaniards have joined "militias" in conflict zones in Syria and Iraq, Spain's ambassador to Iraq, Jose Maria Ferre de la Pena, told a conference in Madrid last month focusing on Islamic extremism.

That is fewer than the hundreds from Britain, France and Germany who are thought to have joined Islamic State, which controls controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria and has killed several western hostages.

But the relatively sudden emergence of the phenomenon has shocked Spanish authorities, who have arrested dozens of suspects accused of planning to join Isis.

Spanish police in August detained a 14-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman in Melilla suspected of trying to join Islamic extremists fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Story continues below…

The two Spanish-governed enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla are Europe's only land borders with Africa.

The Spanish government has said it fears battle-hardened Islamist fighters may return to Spain from Syria and other conflict zones under the influence of groups inspired by Al-Qaeda, posing the threat of attacks.

Spain this year marked the 10th anniversary of the March 11, 2004, Al-Qaeda-inspired bombing of four packed commuter trains in Madrid, which killed 191 people.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain’s Socialists lift veto on conservatives
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available