IS-linked woman arrested in Spain

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Madrid, Oct 17 (IANS) Spanish police on Tuesday arrested a woman suspected of belonging to an international network linked to the Islamic State (IS) terror group aiming to recruit women to travel to conflict zones.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said that the 21-year-old suspect was prepared to travel to Syria and her activities had been tracked by international intelligence and information services for over two years, highlighting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) cooperation had been vital in the operation, reports Efe news.

“The young woman had undergone a process of online self-radicalisation, consuming militant groups’ propaganda with extremely violent content,” the statement said, which added that her shift to extremism had been consolidated in the last two years and had also involved speaking to people, primarily women, on social media.

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The investigation revealed how closed groups she belonged to on the internet dedicated most of their activity to manipulating users into travelling to conflict areas by sharing many videos that highlighted the positive aspects of living there.

The Spanish police and the FBI’s collaboration in the investigation led to the arrests of several people linked to the network, including a woman arrested in Barcelona province in 2015 and a man in the US in 2016.

The man had been in close contact with Tuesday’s detainee and his arrest was believed to have stopped both of them from travelLing to Syria at the time.

Police raided the suspect’s home in the northern coastal town of Palamos in order to establish her degree of involvement with the terror groups she allegedly supported.

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Since the interior ministry raised the terror alert to its second-highest level on June 26, 2015, Spanish security services have arrested 206 people with suspected links to terrorism.



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