MADRID (AP) — Police neutralized a jihadi terror cell Tuesday with the arrests of two people who were part of a larger group allegedly planning to carry out attacks in Spain and other European countries, the Interior Ministry said.
The latest suspects are Spaniards of Moroccan origin, arrested in Spain's north African enclave of Ceuta. The operation was connected to the detention of four other suspected cell members Jan. 24, authorities said.
"The group broken up was fully operative and made up of individuals already radicalized and ready for possibly carrying out of attacks in our country or those around us," the ministry statement said.
It gave no concrete details as to how the group was prepared to attack, but said it had access to the weapons black market, adding that a handgun had been confiscated in the January raids.
Police said the six cell members had similar profiles to the two French brothers who killed 12 people in the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January. It gave no further details.
The ministry said the group followed the directives of the Islamic State armed group.
In January, police arrested four Spanish citizens with Moroccan roots— two pairs of brothers — and seized a pistol, ammunition, military fatigues, face-concealing hoods, machetes, knives and Spanish vehicle license plates.
Three were jailed because they posed a potential threat to Spain's security. The fourth was released, but ordered to stay in Spain and report to authorities weekly.
Spain and Morocco have arrested dozens of suspected jihadist militants and recruiters in recent years, especially around Ceuta and Melilla, Spanish cities in North Africa that are surrounded by Morocco on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other.
Separately, a Spanish judge jailed a Moroccan woman on provisional charges of belonging to IS after she was arrested on suspicion of being involved in female recruitment.
Samira Yerou, 32 and a Spanish resident, was arrested in December in Turkey while attempting to illegally enter Syria with her 3-year-old son with the alleged intention of joining IS. She was detained upon arrival in Barcelona on Saturday.