Together with units from the Madrid Command center and under instruction from the Central Criminal Investigation Court Number 3 and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Spanish National High Court, officers of the Intelligence Department of the Spanish Guardia Civil arrested four people in Pinto and Ciempozuelos (Madrid) on Tuesday morning for their alleged involvement in an organized group engaged in recruiting and radicalizing other members of the community by spreading Jihadi propaganda.
During this operation, the Spanish Guardia Civil arrested two people of Moroccan nationality in Pinto (Madrid) and another two in Ciempozuelos (Madrid), one of Moroccan nationality and the other of Spanish nationality.
The investigation confirmed the existence of a stable structure highly involved in the publication and distribution of propaganda material in support of Jihadi terrorism via various Internet platforms and instant messaging applications.
The members of this group had managed to deliver this type of message to hundreds of people through this remote activity, from among which they selected smaller groups of people in their local area with whom to establish a much more direct process of radicalization.
In some cases, geographic proximity had enabled this process of radicalization to be undertaken in person and with strict controls imposed on the activities carried out by these people, leading them to question how certain news stories should be interpreted and instructions on how they should lead almost every aspect of their lives.
The specialists from the Investigation Service of the Spanish Guardia Civil are currently searching various properties in Pinto and Ciempozuelos, as well as in Madrid, as a result of which they expect to discover the scope of this group and reconstruct all its activities aimed at recruiting and radicalizing other people.
Recruitment and indoctrination networks currently represent the most important way in which people are incorporated into the discipline of terrorist groups, especially in European countries, where the use of secure communication technologies by these structures via the Internet has enabled not only increased propaganda but a capacity to maintain secure contact with other activists in conflict zones, as well as the possible use of these logistics structures as support for terrorist actions in the west.
Since the Counter-terrorism Alert level was raised to 4 on 26 June 2015, the Spanish Guardia Civil has stepped up all its investigations into this type of propaganda and recruitment structures, especially on the Internet and with a special focus on connections between residents in Spain and other people forming part of terrorist groups overseas.
The operation remains ongoing.