Eight people of Spanish nationality were arrested in the city of Ceuta for suspected ties with a terrorist network close to al-Qaeda that enlists jihadists in Spain to send them to fight in Syria, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
The operation, being rolled out jointly by the National Police and the Civil Guard, is still underway in the autonomous North African city and further arrests have not been ruled out, the ministry said in a statement.
“We understand that from Ceuta, Morocco and some places in Spain they organized the transport of a number of jihadists to Syria, going through Turkey,” Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said during a visit to Lisbon.
Authorities are trying to block jihadists from being enlisted and sent to Syria to join groups affiliated to al-Qaeda.
This network, based in Ceuta, Spain and the Moroccan town of Fnideq, carries out the enlistment, indoctrination, organizing and financing for these trips, in cooperation with terrorist groups elsewhere and following the directions of al-Qaeda.