Police Arrest Four Suspected Islamist Militants In Spain

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Spanish Police in North African enclave of Ceuta reportedly arrest four men on Saturday who were suspected of belonging to a militant Islamist network that may have been planning an attack in Spain, the interior ministry has said. Reuters report:

Spain has stepped up security as well as efforts to prevent the radicalization of young Muslim citizens following attacks in Paris this month in which Islamist gunmen killed 17 people. Confirming the arrests, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters: “They are two pairs of brothers, highly radicalized and highly trained.”

Diaz said there were “many parallels” with the two brothers who attacked the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo earlier this month, shooting dead 12 people. He did not elaborate. El Mundo newspaper quoted Diaz as saying the four detained brothers were of Moroccan origin but held Spanish nationality. In searches carried out alongside the arrests, police found combat gear and knives, he added.

Earlier, the interior ministry released a short statement saying police were investigating whether the four men had been planning an attack in Spain. Authorities in Ceuta, an autonomous Spanish city bordering Morocco, declined to comment.

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