Spain nabs al-Qaida suspects who sent fighters to Syria

Spanish-Moroccan network members suspected of committing suicide attacks; some of the recruits included minors.

June 21, 2013 12:51
A fighter from the Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra

Islamist Nusra Front fighter in Syria 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

MADRID - Spain arrested eight people in its North African enclave of Ceuta early on Friday on suspicion of recruiting fighters for a branch of al-Qaida in Syria, the Interior Ministry said.

The operation was carried out by police intelligence services and the Spanish Civil Guard, it said.

"The dismantled Spanish-Moroccan network was, according to police investigations, responsible for sending jihadists to groups affiliated with al-Qaida in Syria," the ministry said in a statement.

The network sent dozens of people, including minors, from the enclave and other parts of Morocco, the ministry said, adding that some of the recruits had taken part in suicide attacks and others had joined training camps.

The network, based in Ceuta and the Moroccan town of Fnideq, was responsible for recruitment, indoctrination and travel financing, the statement said.

The two-year-old Syrian conflict that has turned into a confrontation between Shi'ite Iran, which supports Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Sunni Arab Gulf nations, which back the Syrian rebels.

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