MADRID — Spanish police have arrested a U.S. citizen of Algerian origin who was suspected of financing al-Qaida's North African affiliate, the Spanish Interior Ministry said Wednesday.
Mohamed Omar Debhi, 43, was arrested Tuesday in the town of Esplugues de Llobregat near Barcelona. His arrest is not connected to terrorism alerts this week in France and Britain and is just a coincidence, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity in line with ministry rules.A ministry statement said Debhi was "linked to crimes of financing terrorism in the Sahel for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb," referring to the vast stretch of sub-Saharan territory where the terror organization has kidnapped several Europeans and other Westerners in recent years.
The Interior Ministry official said Debhi at one point lived in Texas. The ministry had no immediate information on when Debhi obtained U.S. citizenship, the official said.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Jeffrey Galvin said he had no immediate comment on the arrest.