Spanish Civil Guards arrested five Algerian men in Northern Spain, on suspicion of providing financial and logistical support for al-Qaida, CNN reports. It's the latest series of arrests in Spain's campaign to root out terrorism from its territory.
The five suspects were apprehended in near simultaneous raids across Spain's Navarre and Basque Land provinces, an area already suffering from domestic terrorism by Basque separatists. They are believed to have supported "terrorist groups that operate in the Algerian area of the Maghreb, specifically al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb" (AQIM), a Spanish ministry statement claimed. The group, aged 36 to 49, is also suspected of linking up with Islamist support groups in Italy, France, and Switzerland.
Al-Qaida and its subsidiaries have been active on Spanish territory for some time. Since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people and injured more than 1,800 others, Spanish police have picked up more than 400 suspected al-Qaida militants or collaborators. This included last week's arrest of a Cuban man on the country's Mallorca Island, who was also involved in recruiting and indoctrination. Most Islamist terrorist suspects in Spain have been of Arab origin, but converts from Latin American countries have also participated.
AQIM in particular has exploited large Moroccan and Algerian expatriate communities in Spain, as well as building a network of bases in North Africa's deserts. For more on AQIM's support role for al-Qaida, click here.