A female wannabe martyr for the so-called Islamic State arrested in Spain

13 November 2020
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Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Terrorism

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The young woman was planning to join terrorist fighters in Idlib, Syria

The Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional), supported by Europol, arrested a young woman, inspired by jihadist terrorism, who was willing to join fighters for the so-called Islamic State in Syria’s Idlib area. 

The young woman, born and raised in Europe, had been rapidly radicalised showing her desire to become a ‘martyr’ for the so-called Islamic State terrorist organisation. She adhered to the most violent forms of terrorist ideology, showing her support for the recent beheading of a French teacher who showed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad cartoons to his students.

The woman was preparing her departure to Syria, where she was going to marry a jihadist terrorist living in the Idlib area. She met the terrorist fighter through social networks at the end of 2019 and actively encouraged him to dedicate his life to fight for the jihad. In January 2020, she travelled to Turkey where she was in contact with members of the terrorist organisation to whom she sent money to support their activities. Since then, she has dedicated her life to procuring money through criminal activities to finance her trip to the conflict area and support terrorist fighters. She planned to leave for Syria in November 2020. Her plan was to procure false ID documents to conceal her Spanish nationality and travel to the border area of Turkey with Syria. A facilitator was supposed to meet her there and smuggle her to the area controlled by jihadists in northwest Syria.

Europol facilitated the information exchange and supported the case with operational analysis. On the action day, Europol provided support by deploying an expert to Spain to crosscheck operational information against Europol’s databases and provide links to investigators in the field. Europol also provided technical support for the analysis of the seized electronic devices.

Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, we support the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime. We also work with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.

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