Police arrest 7 suspect members of IS group
Rabat, (Morocco), Dec 16: Spanish and Moroccan police said Tuesday they arrested seven suspected members of a terror network spread across their two countries that aimed at recruiting women for the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq.
The Moroccan Interior Ministry said two heads of the group were based in Fnideq, just outside the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, where women were brought from Spain and indoctrinated with jihadi thought.
European authorities have noticed a sharp increase in the recruitment of women from Europe for the IS group in the past year, with at least 100 coming from France alone.
The women were to be employed as suicide bombers or married off to jihadi fighters, said the Moroccan statement.
Accounts from the areas under Islamic State control in Syria describe large numbers of foreign women working as cooks, cleaners and in child care.
European officials say these networks, many of which operate online, target young people in search of their identity with the aim of planting multi-generational roots for an Islamic caliphate.
The Spanish statement stated four women, including one minor, were among the five arrested in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla as well as the mainland city of Barcelona.
Both Spain and Morocco have arrested dozens of suspect jihadi militants and recruiters in recent years.
More than 1,200 Moroccans are reportedly fighting in Syria, with more than 100 arrested upon their return.
The cell was in contact with Moroccan commanders fighting with the Islamic State that are feared to be planning attacks in the kingdom as well, stated the Moroccan statement.