Spain arrests 5 people suspected of jihadist cell members

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Spanish police said on Wednesday they had arrested five suspects – four in Barcelona and one in Madrid – who are believed to be part of a jihadist group that was seeking to recruit others for its cause and was trying to acquire weapons.

Police said counterterrorism officers decided to detain the group after learning that a member was trying to buy a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Raids uncovered machetes and ammunition, police said.

Police said the alleged leader of the group was a man known as “Sheikh” who was arrested in Turkey in 2016 while trying to join the extremist group Islamic State. He entered Spain in March and has reportedly started recruiting and indoctrinating others for his cause, police said.

This was the second part of the “ARBAC” police operation which led to the arrest of three Algerian nationals in Barcelona in January.

During this first part of the operation, the police became aware of “Sheikh” when investigators confirmed that a person in Algeria had tried to help members of the group to enter Spain without being detected by the forces. Spanish security.

The operation benefited from the support of the Spanish intelligence services, the FBI, Europol and the Algerian security forces.

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