Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido confirmed on Monday that a 47-year-old Moroccan man was detained in the eastern Spanish town of Sagunto for attempting to recruit fighters for the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
According to the Spanish National Police, the man is an illegal immigrant and “a powerful instigator who was able to create the perfect mix of ideas so that the idea of committing terrorist attacks would be fixed in the mind of new recruits.”
They added that he is responsible for sending a 26-year-old Moroccan man from Sagunto to Iraq, where he killed 33 Iraqi soldiers and injured many others in a suicide attack, just a month and a half after his arrival.
The detainee also offered his house as a meeting place for possible recruits to view IS propaganda materials, and helped them plan their journeys and contact the group.
They also said he had avoided all types of contacts with people who did not share his religion.
Monday’s arrest brings the number of people detained for similar offences in Spain to 251 since the start of 2015.