Jihad recruiters arrested in Spain, France

In what looks like a joint venture, French, Belgian and Spanish police arrested 11 people yesterday in the French-Spanish border area, on suspicion of recruiting Muslims for Jihad in Iraq.

Six people suspected of recruiting Islamic militants to send to Iraq were arrested by Spanish police on Wednesday, the interior ministry said.

Paramilitary police were searching the homes of the suspects in the northern Burgos region, it said.

The cell is alleged to have operated through Internet chat roms and discussion groups.

"The dismantled group was organising clandestine meetings, was gathering funds for imprisoned terrorists (and) was justifying terrorism," the ministry said.

Five men have been arrested in southwestern France on suspicion of helping to recruit Islamic extremist fighters for combat missions in Iraq, police said Tuesday.

Three of the five men were arrested in the city of Toulouse and two in the nearby region of Lot, in a joint operation by French and Belgian police.

The eldest of the suspects, aged from 25 to 45, is suspected of providing close-combat training to several suspected extremists arrested in an anti-terrorist swoop in February.

The others are accused of providing material assistance, although searches of their homes turned up no evidence.

Source: Expatica 1, 2 (English)

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