Over the past weekend two individuals of Moroccan nationality residing in Madrid and Roda de Ter (Barcelona) were arrested for allegedly belonging to part of the propaganda and recruitment arm of Daesh (Islamic State).
According to the Spanish government, the two arrested individuals formed part of the propaganda and recruitment arm of the terrorist organization Daesh, and carried out extensive activity by publishing, indoctrinating and praising its ideology in order to incite the perpetration of terrorist acts.
Additionally, the government said the arrested individuals were fully integrated into the Daesh structure by means of voluntary membership, which was made public on the social media networks, and acted as individual, decentralised and pre-activated terrorist cells for the perpetration of terrorist acts in Spain. This operational dynamic was managed and controlled by the terrorist organisation, albeit from a distance.
The content disclosed by the arrested individuals on social media sought two objectives:
- On the one hand, they were focused on attracting and recruiting young Muslims for the ultimate purpose of building an “army of followers” invisible to police control and fully integrated in the cultures and societies of the countries where they reside. In this regard, they were focused on total anonymity in order to go unnoticed and ensure the effectiveness of their actions.
- On the other hand, they carried out propaganda work to praise the military victories and achievements of DAESH, all of which was presented in an attractive visual format in order to attract the largest possible number of followers. Against this backdrop, and following instructions from DAESH on spreading terror in western societies, they published highly radical content of extreme brutality and published videos showing selected acts of violence to justify the cruelty meted out to the victims.
One constant in the activity by the arrested individuals was that of proclaiming their extreme aversion to other religions, ethnicities and groups that they consider as enemies of their religion. They were focused on building a self-sustaining network, transmitting slogans and ways to act against these groups and specifically proclaiming a great aversion to Shiite Muslims, which they referred to as “demons that have to be killed,” the Spanish government said.
The rapid and extreme radicalization of the two arrested individuals should be noted, the government said, which was aided and supported by their complete isolation stemming from the fact that their only contact with society was through virtual contacts of a radical Jihadi nature. Their radicalization had reached such an extreme level as to offer themselves to Daesh as “martyrs”, fully willing to act at any time, anywhere and in any situation.
Since 2015, when the Ministry of Home Affairs raised the Anti-terrorist Alert Level to 4 (Spanish acronym: NAA-4), the State law enforcement agencies of Spain have arrested a total of 163 Jihadis.