Madrid, Spain – Spanish security forces arrested a Moroccan female at Barcelona-El Prat Airport who wanted to leave the country to joint the Islamic State in Syria, the interior ministry said.
The suspect, named as Samira Yerou, was sent to Spain by Turkish authorities after they caught her trying to illegally enter Syria. Spain had issued an international arrest warrant for the woman.
Spanish authorities, who believe Yerou was seeking to meet up with IS, took her into custody after she flew into Barcelona Airport.
Yerou "could have played an important role in recruiting and sending of women sympathisers of the terrorist group in Europe and Morocco," the ministry statement said.
She was with her three-year-old son when trying to get into Syria.
Her husband, also a Spanish resident, had reported her disappearance in December after she left with their son. The ministry announced on Saturday that the child, in good health, and father had reunited.
In late February, Spanish authorities arrested four people after dismantling a recruiting network for the Islamic State, jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria.
During an anti-terrorist raid, two people were arrested in Melilla, the Spanish enclave in neighbouring Morocco. The others were detained in Girona and Barcelona in Spain\’s northeastern region of Catalonia.
Like many European countries, Spain is battling against the radicalisation of young people seeking to join up with IS in Syria and Iraq and it has dismantled several recruitment networks in recent months.
About 100 Spaniards have joined jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria and similar groups – far fewer than have left France, Britain and Germany to fight.
On March 11, 2004, Spain suffered one of Europe\’s worst extremist attacks.
Explosions on packed commuter trains in Madrid killed 191 people in bombings linked to Al-Qaeda.
SOURCE: TOE and agencies