Spanish police Wednesday arrested 11 people suspected of links to ISIL group, and some of them intended to launch attacks in the Catalonia region, officials said.
It was the latest of scores of such raids as Europe seeks to stop recruitment by the extremist group, which has claimed the killings of many foreign hostages.
Wednesday’s arrests followed a year-long operation involving hundreds of police who made 13 raids around Barcelona and five other areas of the northeastern Catalonia region.
“We are dealing with a cell openly linked to ISIL,” said Catalonia’s regional interior minister Ramon Espadaler.
“It recruited young people and radicalized them. It sent some of them to Syria and Iraq and had also set up an operational cell which was willing to launch attacks in Catalonia.”
He added however that “at no time did the existence of this cell pose a danger because it was under surveillance at all times.”
Police arrested 10 men and a woman aged between 17 and 45. Five of them were Moroccans, five Spanish and one Paraguayan, Espadaler said.
They face charges including belonging to a terrorist group, recruitment and indoctrination, and incitement to terrorism.