Spanish police have arrested at least seven people suspected of financing an Islamic terrorist group with links to al-Qaida, news reports said Friday. The arrests began Thursday night in southern Spain's Costa del Sol region, the news agencies Efe and Europa Press reported. The detainees were suspected of raising money for an Algerian-based Islamic extremist organization, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, the news agencies reported. Efe said they were arrested on orders from the National Court, the Madrid-based tribunal that oversees probes of terrorism cases in Spain.
Interior Ministry officials were not immediately available to comment on the reports. Police made the arrests in apartments in the cities of Malaga, Marbella and Torremolinos, and continued to carry out searches Friday morning, the agencies reported.
The nationalities of the detainees were not known. On Nov. 23, Spanish police arrested 11 Algerians suspected of providing financing and logistical support to the same Algerian group, which has declared allegiance to al-Qaida and is also known as GSPC. The arrests were made in the eastern cities of Alicante and Murcia and in Granada in the south.
A week later, a judge charged four of them with belonging to a terror cell but released the other seven, although he ordered they surrender their passports and check in with the court weekly, reports the AP. I.L.