Published On: Thu, Apr 25th, 2013

Spain Arrested Moroccan And an Algerian Suspected of Being Linked to Al-Qaeda



By Mourad Anouar

Morocco News Tribune

Oklahoma, U.S.A | Spain said on Tuesday they arrested two persons of a Moroccan and an Algerian origins suspected of being linked to Al-Qaeda militants in Mali.

The apprehended persons are believed to have links to the terrorist organisation AQIM,” Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is responsible for a number of attacks and kidnapping across north Africa, the ministry said.

While the interior ministry said in a statement that the two suspects, the Algerian man who is identified as Nou Mediouni, and the Moroccan man, Hassan El Jaaouani, had a “similar profile” to the ones in the Boston bombings, a judicial official confirmed that there is no evidence yet to claim the two have ties to the US attacks.

The Moroccan national was arrested in the southeastern region of Murcia and the algerian was arrested in Spain’s northern city of Zaragoza after a year-long operation with the help of French and Moroccan police, Spain’s interior ministry said.

Mediouni is believed to be recruited through an online militant forum where he was instructed to travel to a “jihadi training camp” run by AQIM in northern Mali, the same source added.

Mediouni’s planned trip to Mali to join AQIM flopped due to security measures by French and African forces.

The Algerian Jaaouani meanwhile, according to the Spanish interior minister, had also been in contact with Mali-based AQIM leaders.

In 2004, Spain was hit by one of Europe’s deadliest terrorist attacks when Twenty-one people, mostly Moroccans with links to Al-Qaeda, were behind the explosions that left 191 people dead on packed commuter trains in Madrid.