Guardia civil arrests Arabic teacher in Madrid for recruiting minors for Daesh

by Lorraine Williamson
Arabic teacher in Madrid arrested

MADRID – The Guardia Civil, in collaboration with Europol, has successfully apprehended a 44-year-old Arabic teacher and imam in Madrid, who was using his position to radicalise minors and recruit potential candidates for the terrorist organisation Daesh.

The arrest follows an intensive investigation that began last year, revealing disturbing connections between the suspect and jihadist ideologies.

The detained individual, an imam at a mosque in the Spanish capital, exploited his role as an Arabic teacher to influence young minds towards extremism. He glorified suicide bombers in his speeches, advocating violence against Jews, Christians, and apostates. The suspect’s activities came to light within the community, leading to a conflict that forced him to leave the mosque. Undeterred, he continued his radicalisation efforts in more private settings.

Search and seize

The Guardia Civil conducted two home searches, seizing electronic devices for further analysis. This was part of their operation to dismantle the suspect’s activities. The evidence collected during these raids, coupled with information from active Europol analysts, has contributed to building a case against the alleged terrorist activities of the detainee.

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The judge from the National Court has ordered the provisional imprisonment of the suspect, emphasising the seriousness of the charges. The investigation and subsequent arrest underscore the ongoing concern over the global trend of terrorist recruitment. This is particularly concerning among young individuals susceptible to extremist ideologies.

Jihadist organisations

The detained imam promoted a violent interpretation of religion akin to major jihadist organisations. His indoctrination sessions in Arabic classes served as a platform for disseminating extremist ideas. Furthermore, suicide bombers were being glorified as legitimate figures in the fight against perceived enemies.

The current operation aligns with the Guardia Civil’s intensified efforts in combating radicalisation and indoctrination since the elevation to level 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Alert on June 26, 2015. The focus on dismantling support structures for terrorist organisations is evident in the authorities’ commitment to addressing emerging trends in youth radicalisation.

Also read: Alleged jihadist arrested for spreading violent material on social media

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