MADRID: Spain said Tuesday it had broken up an online network accused of recruiting young women to join Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria and arrested four suspects.
The arrests came as European nations scramble to halt a surge in young people wanting to travelling to Iraq and Syria to fight with the jihadists. Two of the suspects were arrested in Melilla, the Spanish enclave neighbouring Morocco, in the latest operation by Spain’s authorities targeting such recruiting networks.
The others were detained in Girona and Barcelona in Spain’s northeast. Police were conducting searches of the homes of all four suspects. The two detained in Melilla were said to be behind the creation and operation of several Internet platforms spreading propaganda, particularly for the Islamic State group, the interior ministry said in a statement.
“In line with the strategy of the Daesh terrorist group, they focused on the recruitment of women who, after a process of indoctrination, would end up joining the terrorist group in conflict zones,” it said, referring to the Arabic name for IS.