Spanish police arrest seven on suspicion of being in terror cell linked to Isis

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz says the men sent weapons and money to the terror group and its arch-rival Jabhat al-Nusra

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The Independent Online

Spanish police have arrested seven suspected members of a terror cell linked to both Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra. 

Six of the men were arrested following raids in the eastern provinces of Valencia and Alicante and in Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta on Saturday.

The Interior Ministry said a seventh suspected was arrested later on Sunday, but he did not give any further details. 

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the cell had sent arms and bomb-making equipment to Iraq and Syria disguised as humanitarian aid. 

The ringleader reportedly ran a business which enabled him to ship containers from Spanish ports to armed militants in Syria and Iraq.

The group is also suspected of supplying funds for Isis and their arch-rivals in Syria Jabhat al-Nusra, the police have said.

Police said they had been investigating the cell since 2014 and the arrests took place early on Sunday. 

In a statement the police said they had found evidence the men had provided “logistical support that was essential for the maintenance of terror activities” in Syria and Iraq. 

The ringleader was also allegedly contacted by Isis who urged him to get women to travel to Syria and Iraq for their fighters to marry "following guidelines set down by the Islamic State group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi".

Four of those arrested were Spanish citizens but were of Syrian, Jordanian and Moroccan ancestry. 

Two others were Syrian and Moroccan nationals living in Spain. The nationality of the seventh man is unknown.

Additional reporting by AP