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Five Arrested on Suspicion of Forming ISIS Cell in Europe | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Police guard the home of a man suspected to be a member of a group linked to ISIS in Madrid. Reuters

Officials announced on Thursday that authorities in Spain, Belgium and Germany have arrested five people that allegedly formed part of an “active and dangerous” cell that spread propaganda and sought to recruit militants for ISIS.

The Spanish Interior Ministry said the five suspects worked for ISIS by spreading information on several internet sites, among them a Facebook page, which was managed by two suspects arrested in Belgium and Germany. It said the site had 32,500 followers.

A ministry statement said three of the cell members were arrested in Spain- Two were detained in Barcelona and the third in the North African enclave of Melilla.

Four of the cell members were Spanish and one was Moroccan, it said.

According to the Spanish Interior Ministry, operating almost exclusively in Spanish, the group used the sites to encourage jihad attacks, praise ISIS, seek recruits, promote militancy and act as go-betweens for the group in Europe.

There were no immediate details on the identities of the five.

Since Spain raised its alert level to 4, the second highest, in 2015, its police have arrested 143 militants, with 113 in Spain and 30 outside of the country.

Some 34 people have been arrested this year in relation to militancy, according to government figures.