Spain dismantles militant Islamic cell which was ready to attack

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain said on Tuesday it has dismantled a militant Islamic cell in its North African enclave of Ceuta that it claims was ready to attack either Spain or other targets in Europe.

Police arrested two suspected militants as part of a wider security operation that began in January, the Interior Ministry said.

"The cell neutralised today, as opposed to others dismantled, doesn't follow the same pattern of radicalisation, recruitment and sending of activists to organised jihadist organisations in conflict zones," the Ministry said in a statement.

"This group was clearly operational and consisted of individuals who were already radicalised and prepared for a possible attack, in our own country or those nearby."

The two male suspects in Ceuta, on the Moroccan coast, included a Spanish and Moroccan national and were arrested as part of the same police investigation that led to the arrest of four people in January, the ministry said.

The six detained in the two operations presented profiles similar to those involved in the attacks in Paris on Jan. 7 and 8, the ministry added.

Spain has made more than 20 arrests of suspected Islamic militants since September.

Western nations have become increasingly worried about the risk of young people becoming radicalised by militants in North Africa and the Middle East and returning home to launch attacks.

A Moroccan woman who is a Spanish resident was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of attempting to join Islamic State fighters in Syria.

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