30th April, 2014
Police in Spain arrested a French-Algerian man suspected of fighting for Al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, the Spanish interior ministry said on Wednesday.
Spanish officers with the help of French police seized Abdelmalek Tanem, 24, in the southern city of Almeria on Wednesday afternoon, the ministry said in a statement.
They said he was thought to have carried out “terrorist activities” in Syria with two jihadist factions: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Al-Nusra Front.
He is suspected of serving as a “combatant” as well as a “facilitator” on the Syria-Turkey border helping other Europeans travel to join the group.
Spain has arrested hundreds of suspected Islamists in the decade since Al-Qaeda inspired bomb attacks killed 191 people on commuter trains in Madrid in March 2004.
Spanish security forces say they fear battle-hardened Islamist fighters may return from Syria under the influence of Al-Qaeda-inspired groups, presenting a threat of attacks in Spain.
Both Al-Nusra Front and ISIL were initially offshoots of the Al-Qaeda branch in Iraq before deteriorating ties between them in Syria erupted into violence.