On Wednesday, officers from the Intelligence Headquarters of Spain’s Guardia Civil, together with units from the Gerona and Almeria command centres and the regional headquarters in Catalonia and Andalusia, under the instruction of Central Investigation Court number 1 and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the National High Court, arrested two brothers, aged 33 and 22, of Moroccan nationality and residents in Gerona.
The brothers are accused of financing terrorism, collaboration with a terrorist group and self-indoctrination.
The two individuals detained, together with a third brother who died in Syria, were involved in helping funding to reach the financial administrators of DAESH through the intermediation of false identities attributed to these administrators of DAESH. These false identities would form part of the centre for economic collection by DAESH at an international level, as was made clear in the international contacts detected during the course of the investigation.
The death of the brother in Syria, who had travelled to the conflict zone together with his wife and two children to join up to the ranks of the terrorist group DAESH, did not deter them from continuing their activities of sending funds from Spain. The investigators verified that this activity was of an ongoing nature and aimed at providing financial support to the terrorist group.
The application of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism was key in the detection and investigation of the international financial transfers used by the terrorist cell.
This operation, which included the collaboration of the National Intelligence Centre (Spanish acronym: CNI), is the first such operation in Spain in which specific evidence was uncovered of the final destination of the remittance of these funds, which shows that they were made available to DAESH to be used by the group to facilitate the movements of personnel to join up to the ranks of the terrorist group.
Following their arrest, the officers proceeded to search their homes in order to obtain further evidence to enable them to better ascertain the ties that the detainees had with the financial administrators of DAESH and their false identities, with a view to fully clarifying the extent of their activities.
Since the Counter-Terrorism Alert level was raised to Level 4 on 26 June 2015, the Guardia Civil have stepped up all their investigations related to both the operational and logistics structures of a cross-border nature. The importance should be stressed of interrupting the mechanisms for the recruitment and travel of Jihadi fighters, as well as the financial flows that allow these structures to be maintained and operations to be carried on in Europe.