Spanish police raid suspected Qaeda financing ring

27th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

More than 150 Spanish police raided a suspected Al-Qaeda financing ring Tuesday, arresting five Algerian men and seizing computer material, the government said.

Police suspected the men sent money to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which has its roots in Algeria and carries out attacks and kidnappings in north Africa, the interior ministry said in a statement.

"According to the investigation, those detained had links with other European countries -- Italy, France, and Switzerland -- and provided financial cooperation with these Al-Qaeda linked terrorist organizations."

Officers arrested the five men, aged between 36 and 49, and made detailed searches of their homes in morning raids in four cities in the northern Basque region and Navarra.

"Abundant amounts of computer material and documents were seized which will be analised," the ministry said.

More arrests could not be ruled out, it added.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims allegiance to the global extremist network. It carries out attacks and kidnappings and runs smuggling routes in the Sahel region that spans north Africa.

Spain suffered its worst terror attack on March 11, 2004 when bombs exploded on packed commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding 1,841 others in a strike by a local cell of Islamic extremists carried out in the name of Al-Qaeda.

© 2011 AFP

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