Suspected militant returning from war in Syria arrested in Spain

January 5, 2014


An Islamist activist returning to Europe from Syria was arrested on Sunday at Malaga airport in southern Spain as a potential “threat to national security”, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The suspect, Abdeluahid Sadik Mohamed, belongs to the al Qaeda-linked group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the statement said.

A spokesman for the Ministry confirmed Sadik Mohamed is a Spanish national born in Ceuta, the Spanish enclave on Morocco’s north coast.

He had spent months alongside Islamic militants fighting in Syria and in Iraq since last May, arriving to the region from Casablanca, Morocco. He was arrested at Malaga airport on a flight from Istanbul, Turkey, the statement said.

Spanish terrorism experts have repeatedly said that authorities are closely tracking the movements of Islamic militants who have fought in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan when they come to Europe for the threat they pose as potential “lone wolves” or in group terrorist actions.

Sadik Mohamed was allegedly involved in terrorist training camps in Syria and Iraq, the statement said. The Interior Ministry did not immediately reveal his age.

He was a suspect in a partially dismantled Spanish and Moroccan network of Islamic militants that recruited, indoctrinated, trained and financed militants to be sent to the battlefronts in Syria.

The network was based in Ceuta and and in the nearby Moroccan city of Fnideq.



Radical Islam in Spain: Summary of the Real Instituto Elcano Report

November 18, 2013


1) Seven out of ten Spanish jihadists become radicalized in Spain (homegrown terrorists).

2) They are concentrated in Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia and Ceuta.

3) It takes four to five years to become terrorists.

How are jihadist terrorists radicalized in Spain ? How long does it take them ? Where does this happens? These are some of the answers offered by the Real Instituto Elcano in an investigation that has just been published and signed by experts Fernando Reinares and Carola García-Calvo, who have been assessing Islamist terrorism cases from 1996 to 2012 .

The most striking finding of the report is that radicalization has become a “native” phenomenon in Spain: seven out of ten of those who become jihadists do it on Spanish territory. In terms of age, radicalism has greater impact on those under 30 years with  individuals in their twenties  being the most vulnerable.

However, it is not a widespread phenomenon throughout Spain. 90 per cent of Salafi radicalization cases have been recorded in particular in Madrid, Valencia , Catalonia and Ceuta, places where there is a large Muslim community.

During the research, the authors found a singularity of the ‘ Spanish ‘ phenomenon compared to other countries, as for example in the UK : most cases of recruitment and radicalization does not occur in places of worship, like mosques or Islamic cultural centers, but in private homes.

Once the individual begins the process of radicalization, which is “not irreversible” says the report of the Instituto Elcano, it takes between four and five years before he or she starts acting.

In what concerns the number of women participating in Jihadist activities in Spain, the report offers no indication.


El confidencial digital:


Full report in Spanish:

Morocco: Terrorist Suspect Arrested in Ceuta

19 September 2013


Spanish security services on Monday (September 16th) arrested a Moroccan expatriate for allegedly recruiting jihadists to fight in Syria.

Just a few days after the arrest of Mohamed El Bali, a Moroccan expatriate accused of co-ordinating the “Muwahideen” and “Attawhid” cells, another Moroccan terror suspect was arrested in Ceuta.

Yassin Ahmed Laarbi (aka “Pistu”), who has Spanish nationality but is Moroccan by birth, “is the suspected brains behind a network which is actively radicalising, recruiting and sending out Mujahideen to help terrorist groups at work in Syria”, Spanish authorities announced.

“Pistu”, the 39-year-old alleged cell ringleader, is accused of overseeing the training of both Moroccan and Spanish recruits in Ceuta.

The men were part of an international network “dedicated to radicalising, recruiting and sending jihadists to Syria to wage jihad and become martyrs”, a Madrid court said at their arraignment.

The cell reportedly sent an estimated 50 jihadists – most of them from Morocco – to Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria. The network asked them to act as “lone wolves” if they returned to Spain or Morocco, to lead Jihadist attacks in France or the United Kingdom, the minister added.

Another citizen of Ceuta recruited by Jihadist networks dies in Syria

07 July 2013


Mohamed H., 27, is the latest casualty in the list of Ceuta’s citizens that participated and died in the Syrian war. The Spanish authorities do not know exactly how many Muslims have gone to the Middle East or how many, for sure, have died since April 2012. According to the estimates of the government delegation, between five and eight of the ten individuals who were recruited by jihadi groups and went to to Syria, half have died in the last year.


PSOE breaks relationships with Muslim Party, Caballas

23 July 2013

The Socialist Party of Ceuta has decided this afternoon to “break” their relationships with Caballas, the first group in the opposition of Ceuta’s political Assembly, for their defence of Koranic scholar Malik Ibn Benaissa[1]. Benaissa had been denounced by the Socialists for classifying as a “fornicator” the woman who wears perfume and stilettos.

Caballas issued in a note that Malik Ibn Benaissa is a “person trained not only in Islam, but that he is also a committed citizen”. They expressed their support for Benaissa and demanded an apology from the PSOE to all the Muslim community.

This has led to the PSOE response announcing in a statement that they break all relations with Caballas limiting them exclusively to the “essential” for the government’s control of Ceuta.

[1] Benaissa is an Imam, a Qur’an expert who dedicates his life to give conferences and sermons. He has his own youtube channel: The following video called: “The Queens of Islam” is the own referred to in these new:

Spain, fertile ground to the new jihad

02 June 2013

Spain, far from being an exception, is a fertile ground for Salafi jihadism.
Professor of International Relations at the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia)( UNED), Carlos Echeverria says that Spain is a very attractive countries for lone wolfes Islamic radicals, Professor Echeverria remembered that at least two of the last calls of Ayman al Zawahiri, current head of Al Qaeda, were directly urging Muslims to strike at Al-Andalus, concretly Ceuta and Melilla. “Spain has the specificity that it was Muslim land and therefore must be retrieved from the invaders.. In his opinion, it is very difficult to establish the specific scenario of a potential attack. However, Ceuta and Melilla, the two Spanish cities on Moroccan territories are places to watch: since they have been the place for jihadi going to fight in Syria against the Assad regime.
In Mellila, the radicalization is visible in the street.
”Three years ago appeared the first woman covered from head to toe, something that had never been seen here. Now there may be more than 70 burkas “says that source who prefers anonymity.

UCIDCE recognizes the presence of takfiris in Ceuta

14 April 2013

The president of the Union of Islamic Communities in Ceuta (UCIDCE), the organization that brings together more than 90 percent of the fifty Muslim entities legally registered as such in Ceuta, Laarbi Maateis, acknowledged the presence in the autonomous city of ” five or six “militants of the radical group Takfir Wal Hijra (Anathema and Exile), to which different experts have linked to the recruitment of young Muslims of Ceuta to perform Jihad in Syria.

“If it was not for the great work of the intelligence services of the neighboring country,” he warned, “ we would have had thousands of cases in Morocco and many in Ceuta, (..), because there are many young people who are self-radicalized, they become fanatics, especially through the Internet, without hearing messages from their Imams, without the slightest knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence. ”

Maateis points to the neighboring Moroccan town of Castillejos (Fnideq, in Arabic), as one of the hotbeds of Islamic radicalism. “I guess it is because it is a border area, because there is contact with people of Ceuta, (…), “he says.

UCIDCE President has stated that his federation is spending “much time and sacrifice” to “prevent young ceutíes to be captured by radicals.” “However,” he added on the processes of recruitment, we “must take into account the movement of our youth to Morocco and warn that most of the contacts occur via the internet with emails, the whatsapp and especially the Paltalk “.

Demographic study of the Muslim population in Spain

17 February 2013Población+1

In terms of national origin, the two main Muslim groups in Spain are the Spanish and the Moroccan, adding now the growing Pakistani group (a majority in some towns like Barcelona and Valencia); being the rest divided among different nationalities considered in the census made by the Observatorio Andalusi and the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE), for the year 2012.

By its geographical location, the Muslim settlements are higher in the southeastern half of the country, Andalusia, Catalonia, Madrid and Valencia, followed by Murcia, and the clear percentage of Ceuta and Melilla; having smaller presence in the northwest quadrant of the Peninsula.

The reasons to migrate and even to move around Spain are related to the economic crisis; to the search for employment and better life conditions.

Summary of the Demographic Study of Muslims in Spain

The number of Muslims in Spain has reached almost 1.6 million (1,595,221), of which 1.1 million are foreigners in opposition to the 464,978 Spanish Muslims, according to the exploitation of the census of the Muslims in Spain made by the Andalusian Observatory, the autonomous body of the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE).

The study reveals that the community with the highest number of Muslim citizens is Catalonia with 427.138 Muslims from which 66.029 are Spanish; and 361.109 are foreign; followed by Andalusia, with 252,927 Muslims from which 93,579 are Spanish and 159,348 are foreign; and Madrid, with 248,002 Muslims from which 123,952 are Spanish and 124,050 are foreigners.

On the other hand, communities with fewer people professing Islam are Cantabria, with 4.146 Muslim citizens (472 Spanish and 3.674 foreign Muslims); Asturias with 6.386 Muslims (677  Spanish and 5.709 foreign Muslims); and Galicia, with 13,151 Muslims (1.647 Spanish and 11. 504 foreign Muslims).


Muslims represent about 3% of the total population of inhabitants.

30% of Muslims is Spanish while 70% are immigrants (50% Moroccans and 20% of other nationality).

90% of the Muslim students have no Muslim religion classes.
90% of the Teachers of Muslim religion are unemployed.

5% of Islamic religious communities have no mosque or oratory.

95% of the Islamic communities have no cemetery.


Download report PDF

Melilla is the autonomous city with more Spanish Muslims

17 February 2013


In Melilla resides a total of 31,276 Spanish Muslims, making it 6% of all those living in Spain, according to “Demographic Study of the Muslim population ‘for the year 2012, published by the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE), the Andalusian Observatory and assembled through data obtained from the different regional Institutions and Ministries of Interior, Justice and Education. The number of Muslims grew throughout 2012 in both Spanish autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla), as seen by comparing the UCIDE study of this year with the one of last year.

Radicals leave Spain to fight in Mali

15 January 2013

Twenty individuals, identified as radical Islamists, have disappeared from their homes in the Spain, Ceuta and Melilla and they are believed to have traveled through Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania to Mali to join”jihadists”  factions who have occupied the North African country and are now the subject of a military operation by the French Army.
Young “Polisario” members and other radicals who have traveled to Mali in recent weeks, are tempted by AQIM Salafists and other two formations found in the area, the MUYAO (Movement for Unity and Jihad North Africa) and Ansar el Dine (Followers of the Faith) to join the cause of jihad (struggle) and to incorporate the north camps of that country. The total number of Islamist terrorists is about 5,000.