A total of five people suspected of having ties to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group have been taken into custody in Spain and Hungary.
In a statement released on Friday, Spain’s Interior Ministry said police arrested a Moroccan man with Dutch identity documents in the northwestern town of Figueras, situated in the country’s semi-autonomous Catalonia region, on suspicion of being a Daesh element.
An investigation is currently underway into whether the suspect’s recent return to Spain from Turkey “was motivated by a desire to carry out some sort of action in Europe,” the statement added.
It further said Dutch authorities and the intelligence services of a number of other countries helped the Spanish police locate the man.
“Investigators are currently trying to determine the degree of radicalization of the detainee, his possible links in Europe, the activities he has been carrying out for Daesh and what his purpose was since his arrival in Spain,” it went on to say.
In a separate statement published on Friday, the Spanish ministry said police had arrested two other nationals, who were part of a group highly determined to “carry out terrorist activities” and “fully aligned with … Daesh.”
Meanwhile, a gun and three knives were confiscated during police searches in Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta.
The Spanish police have arrested 181 Daesh-linked people since 2015, when the country’s terror alert level was raised to four on a scale of five.
Elsewhere in the EU, Hungarian authorities said they had nabbed two foreign women allegedly seeking to join Daesh in Syria.
The unnamed 18-year-old Belgian and the 19-year-old French nationals were trying to cross into Serbia, a police spokesperson told Hungary’s MTI news agency.
Gyorgy Bakondi, Hungarian premier’s chief security advisor, said the young women were subject to warrants for previous “acts in connection with terrorism.”
The EU member states are concerned about the threat posed by foreign Daesh militants upon their return to home countries from Syria and Iraq, where the terrorist outfit is mainly active.
Last December, an EU report warned that as many as 1,750 out of the estimated 5,000 European nationals, who had traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the Takfiri terrorists, have returned home, probably with a mission to launch attacks.