Spain arrests 18-year-old Moroccan woman suspected of ISIS links

A woman (centre) being escorted by two Spanish policewomen who is suspected of  recruiting girls and teenagers for ISIS, similar to the latest detainee.
A woman (centre) being escorted by two Spanish policewomen who is suspected of recruiting girls and teenagers for ISIS, similar to the latest detainee.PHOTO: AFP/ HO/ SPANISH INTERIOR MINISTRY

MADRID (AFP) - Spanish police said they arrested an 18-year-old Moroccan woman on Saturday (Sept 5) accused of preparing to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

She was the latest in a series of suspected ISIS sympathisers detained in Spain since last year over security fears.

Police said she was suspected of recruiting other women via the Internet to the group, also known as Daesh, which has claimed numerous kidnappings and executions.

At the time of her arrest in the coastal town of Gandia near Valencia, she "was making the last preparations for her journey" to Syria, a police statement said.

She was not the first woman arrested in Spain for allegedly recruiting women and girls for the armed group; another was detained on the island of Lanzarote in July.

More than 100 people from Spain are suspected of having joined militant fighters in Iraq and Syria, and the authorities fear they may return to launch attacks.

In March 2004, bombers inspired by Al-Qaeda blew up four packed commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people.

More than 20 people including various Moroccans were convicted of that attack.

Police said the woman detained was Moroccan but had lived for a long time in Spain.

Officers arrested her "for suspected links with jihadist terrorist activities".

"She spread jihadist ideology on the Internet, justifying terrorist acts and spreading videos that glorified executions of people," it said.

"She had focused her online activity on recruiting women to go and swell the ranks of Daesh."