Five Jihadists have been arrested in Spain, Germany and Belgium who administered the Facebook page ‘Islam in Español’. The Interior Ministry assured the detained ‘represented a serious, concrete and continual threat to security in Europe’
Success for the General Information Commissariat of the National Police with the removal of the page, which had been online for some months and had become a hub to exchange pro ISIL propaganda.
The National Police detained two people in Barcelona and one in Melilla: the Belgian Federal Police detained one in Brussels and the German Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) detained one in Wuppertal (Germany). Four of them are Spanish and one is Moroccan.
According to the Interior Ministry, the five now in custody formed a cell with a perfectly organised structure ‘which was devoted to the dictates of DEASH terrorism organisation, and acted through different channels on the Internet which linked to their Facebook page named ‘Islam en Español’, the administrators were arrested in Germany and Belgium.
The page had 33,700 followers, and its publications were generally in Spanish, with the pretext of promoting religious content by ‘exchanging messages and commentaries of a radical character recruiting for the jihadists and praising the actions of DAESH’, explained the Police in a statement.
The page was focussed on the young, the majority of Muslim origin, from the Maghreb, and used virtual communications almost always in the Spanish language, and such was its success some 500 new followers were joining every week.
Detectives in the operation noted on the one hand, the propaganda on the webpage was very diverse and on the other, it showed tactics used in war and videos of terrorism news, with scenes of extreme cruelty lauding the actions of terrorists and martyrs, mixed in with a thriving content of hateful messages.
‘The main objective of the cell was to collaborate fully with the propagandistic strategy of DAESH in terrorising and destabilising western society by creating a permanent feeling of insecurity among their readers’.
They were also dedicated to localise and then select radical elements, both inside Spain and abroad ‘prone to the exaltation of Jihadist ideology and finally to capture new collaborators’.
These selected elements acted in ‘cells’ now dismantled, which insisted in the need to travel to conflict zones to join the ranks of ISIL or DAESH.
The webpage also had a list of the necessary contacts of those thought to be susceptible to Islamic propaganda to become future combatants.
On occasions it turned into a propaganda machine with massive amounts of pages praising the violence and killing and used the benefits of the Internet to change the language or other likes to suit the new visitors, young Muslims and Spanish speaking.
The anti-terrorism services underlined how the detained had also insulted other religions, ethnicity or social collectives which they considered to be enemies to their own religious precepts.
143 Jihadists detained in Spain since 2015
The Interior Ministry was firm in explaining the dangerous nature of this group of anarchists in a press release issued this morning, ‘the deactivated cell represented a serious and continued threat against the security of western societies, given that all their members were completely radicalised to the dictates of DAESH, acted rapidly and constantly to send large amounts of propaganda to create new active cells’.
This operation was carried out under the supervision of Central Instruction Court 5 in the National Court and coordinated by the Prosecution office in the National Court.
The department led by Jorge Fernández recalled today that since 2014, the year when the Anti-Terrorist Alert (NAA in Spanish) reached 4, the State security and police forces have detained 143 jihadists; 113 in Spain and 30 in other countries which had been in close collaboration with Spanish anti-terrorism services.