- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Spanish and Moroccan police on Tuesday arrested four people suspected of recruiting jihadis to join the Islamic State terrorist group, including one former Guantanamo detainee who received military training in Afghanistan.

Three of the suspects were arrested in Spain’s North African enclave city of Ceuta and a fourth suspect was arrested in the Moroccan border town of Farkhana, next to Melilla, Spain’s other North African enclave, the two nation’s interior ministries said, according to The Associated Press.

The four were “willing to commit terrorist acts on Spanish soil,” police said, adding the suspects had allegedly made contacts to acquire weapons and substances used to make explosives, Agence France-Presse reported.

One of the suspects arrested in Ceuta was the former Guantanamo detainee. He was not named by Spanish authorities but was described as “a leader who was trained in handling weapons, explosives and in military tactics,” AP reported.

“One of the leaders of the cell received military and combat training in camps in Afghanistan under the authority of terrorist jihadist organizations,” police said of the former Guantanamo detainee, AFP reported. He was captured and held at Guantanamo from 2002-2004 before being returned to Spain.

“The fact that this leader was trained in handling weapons, explosives and in military tactics makes this cell particularly dangerous,” police added.

The arrest comes as President Obama unveiled Tueaday his plan to shutter the Guantanamo prison facility and transfer the remaining 91 detainees to U.S. facilities.

Spain was the site of the deadliest jihadi attack ever committed in Europe in March 2004 when train bombings killed 191 people in Madrid.



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