A number of jihadists have been arrested in Spain in recent years and a large proportion of them have Spanish nationality.
A recently published study by the Real Instituto Elcano about the development of jihadist activity shows a marked increase in the number of radical activists with Spanish citizenship. 120 persons were arrested between 2013 and November 2015 suspected of participating in Islamist terrorist activities. 45% of the arrested jihadists have proved to have Spanish nationality.
The figures are showing that the proportion of prisoners with Spanish citizenship in Spanish prisons who have been convicted for jihadist terrorism or who have died in suicide attacks is three times higher now than it was during the period 1996 – 2013. As regarding other nationalities, most of them are Moroccons, and four out of ten are born in the region of Tangiers.
The majority of the arrests, 29%, were made in and around Barcelona, where for a not yet understood reason they seem to prefer to stay. But they are not born there. 75.8% were born in Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa, this applies to all those who have been arrested since 2013. In this context Barcelona occupies first place, followed by Ceuta and Melilla and on fourth place is Madrid. When it comes to recruiting and organizing jihad network, social media is the main recruitment channel.
The researchers have also noticed a change in the age of the jihadists. They are getting younger and over the past two years, the proportion of women has increased significantly. 60.9% of the suspects were between 15 and 29 years, 15.8% were women and 13.1% were converts to Islam. The myth of the lone wolf is completely broken, 90.5% of all those arrested operated in cooperation with other terrorists.
The above is an excerpt of a report that was presented on Monday at the third forum for global terrorism, held in Madrid. Lecturers were Fernando Reinares and Carola García-Calvo and the report is called “Terroristas, redes y organizaciones: facetas de la actual movilización yihadista en España”.
The Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenés spoke Monday against the idea of limiting access for refugees fleeing from war zones just because jihadists could misuse this system.
“We can not equate immigrants with terrorists. We can not stop the humanitarian work just because it might pose a risk. What we need to do is to minimize this risk”, said Morenés.
The minister also explained that Spain would not join the coalition bombs Daesh / IS / ISIS. “No one in the coalition against ISIS has asked us to do something more [than what we already do], which is already quite a lot.”
Spain currently has 300 military instructors in Baghdad and Besmayah, where they train Iraqi soldiers to fight jihadism. Morenés also noted that Spain supports France in Mali, Senegal, Gabon and the Central African Republic in global security.
(All above images are from the Policía Nacional.)
Daesh – IS – Isis – Isil – a disputed name
Daesh, IS, or Isis Isil – how the jihadist terrorist group should be known as is now being discussed worldwide. World leaders Barack Obama and François Hollande today use the term Daesh. Daesh is the Arabic version of Isis, in Arabic al-Dawla al-Islamiyya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham. It is a name that terrorists hate. One theory about why they hate it is because the Arabic word is similar to Daes meaning “trample” or “crush” and daw’aish, “bigots who impose their opinions,” writes SVT. The terrorist group has banned the use of the name Daesh, but it is widespread in the Middle East.