The 21st Century Phenomenon



On 12/19/2005, 14 people suspected of recruiting fighters for the insurgency in Iraq and connected to the Ansar al-Fath Network in France, were arrested overnight in the cities of Lerida, Malaga, Nerja, Seville and on the Balearic Islands. Eight Moroccans, an Iraqi, an Egyptian, a Frenchman, a Ghanaian, a Belarusian, a Saudi, and a Spaniard were also among those arrested. 

 About 100 police were searching the premises at which the suspects were detained. The press release identified the Iraqi — Hiyag M., 25, alias abu Sufian — as the ringleader that “directed and maintained the communications abroad and with Iraq where he had very close access to the Al Qaeda operative Abu Musab al Zarqawi.”

The Spaniard, identified as Jose Antonio D.M., was a convert to Islam, who was well-off financially. Jose Antonio D.M. and Abu Sufian were known to have traveled abroad together, and the Spaniard sent “large amounts of money” to Abu Sufian when the Iraqi was abroad alone, the ministry said.

Jose Antonio D.M. and Abu Sufian lived in Nerja with a Moroccan named Bahbah el H., who had formerly been imam of a mosque in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on the Moroccan coast.

The Belarusian was identified as Sergei Malyschew, also known as Amin al-Ansari, considered an expert in chemical weapons.

The Ghanaian identified as Muhammad G. appears to have helped Africans travel to the USA under false identities, but it is not clear if he had any ties to terrorist groups,

Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso told a news conference the cell had two people ready to be sent to Iraq to wage “Holy War”.  Three weeks later, on 01/10/2006, the Spanish police arrested in Madrid, Barcelona and the Basque’s region 20 more suspects of Ansar al Islam network in Spain. The arrests were timed to the visit of the ringleader Omar Naksha in Barcelona, who was implicated with the Nasiriya Bombing. The suspects were members of the Moroccan Islamic Combat Group – CICM. Six of the suspects were released without charges on 01/15/2006.

* One of the suspects arrested on 01/10/2006, Mohammed M. Fahsi, was put on trial in Spain, in 09/2009, along with other defendants of the net. He was released unconditionally before the sentencing, on 12/18/2009.     


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