Law enforcers in Spain have apprehended seven individuals who are believed to have special connections with jihadist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. According to authorities, the arrested suspects allegedly operated as members of a terrorist cell and sent weapons and financial support to extremist groups using ports in Spain.
According to Time, the suspects consisted of five Spanish nationals but of Moroccan, Syrian and Jordanian descent. The other two are foreigners from Syria and Morocco.
As noted by the representative for Spain's Foreign Ministry, the materials supplied by the suspects to terrorists groups were essential in their extremist activities.
"The head of the cell directed a network of firms which enabled him to send the logistical material in sealed containers from Spanish ports to the terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq without raising suspicion," the spokesperson said in a statement according to the Daily Mail.
"These regular supplies directly benefited the continuity and strengthening of terrorist structures in Syria and Iraq," the agency's representative added.
According to reports, aside from weapons and cash, the suspects also sent electronic components and devices, which authorities believe are parts for making bombs. In addition, their investigations revealed that the suspects were able to freely ship these items without detection because they were placed inside packages that were made to look like humanitarian aid.
In addition to sending logistical materials, investigators also discovered that the head of the cell had regular contact with a member of ISIS. Law enforcers noted that the latter frequently told the former to recruit women to join the terrorist group. Once they arrive in Syria and Iraq, the women will then be married off to other members of the organization.
Paul Cruickshank, a terrorism analyst for CNN, said that through partnering, these new female recruits will serve as the mothers of the new generation of ISIS fighters.
The raid on the seven suspected jihadists, which was carried out on Sunday, is part of an on-going investigation into possible terrorist operations in Spain, which began in 2014. The police raids intensified in early 2015 following the massacre in the offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in January of last year.
Since the start of the investigations, a total of 82 terrorist supporters has been arrested in Spain. Many of the raids were conducted in Valencia, Alicante and the country's North African enclave of Ceuta.