Moroccan Boxing Coach Arrested in Spain for Leading ISIS Recruitment Cell

Rabat – The third and final member of an Islamic State-linked recruitment cell active in Spain has been arrested according to local authorities, who added on Monday that the latest suspect was a boxing coach of Moroccan descent.Police forces arrested the man, who held Spanish residency, in the northern city of San Sebastian. He had been in communication with potential recruits across Europe since 2010.“The accused was very active in finding new recruits and would approach young people at risk of social exclusion, easily influenced and emotionally unstable, and make the most of his position as a boxing coach to win their confidence,” the Spanish Interior Ministry said. The three-member group had been sending its combatants to Turkey, instructing them to carry attacks in ISIS’ name. The other two members – who followed “concrete and precise instructions from Daesh” – had been captured in Morocco and France during the month of November.One of the other detainees had shared a flat with the newly arrested suspect, who, of the three, played the most active role in terrorist recruitment. Five months later, the man captured in Morocco began sharing propaganda in support of ISIS’ goals – though he had not shown any signs of radicalization before.Since 2015, Spanish authorities have arrested 181 jihadists, according to the Interior Ministry.The ministry’s statement added that Morocco’s General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) had assisted in the suspect’s arrest, which “highlights [the agency’s] excellent cooperation at the national and international levels in the fight against a major security threat: Jihadist terrorism.”