Police Arrest Jihadists Who Snuck Into Europe Through Illegal Migrant Route

Man on the chair in Handcuffs. Rear view and Closeup ,Men criminal in handcuffs arrested f
choochart choochaikupt/Getty Images

Spanish and Austrian police arrested two radical Islamic jihadists in Spain and Austria who are said to have fought in Syria and entered Europe illegally using the Balkan migrant route.

The two men, both Moroccan nationals, are said to have links to groups close to al-Qaeda and were trained by terrorist groups in Syria where they fought until jihadists in the area were forced to retreat. The pair then moved to Turkey, where they set off to enter Europe illegally, travelling the Balkan route through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Austria.

One of the men was arrested in Austria by police, while the other man continued his journey to Spain where he was arrested in the town of Mataró, just outside of Barcelona, where he has relatives who live in the town, the Catalan Media Corporation reports.

According to the broadcaster, one of the men had previously lived in Spain before travelling to Syria in 2014. The other man had lived in Morocco but is also said to have links to Spain as many of his family members have lived in the country over the last seven years.

The operation was carried out by the General Commissariat of Information, an intelligence agency within the Spanish National Police, and the National Intelligence Centre (CNI), the Spanish equivalent of Mi6 or the United states’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The arrests are not the first time foreign fighters have been found in Spain, as another jihadist was arrested in December of 2018 in Barcelona but had no prior ties to Spain. The jihadist also crossed into Europe illegally through the Balkan route.

The operation comes just a month after Spanish police, working with Belgian authorities, were able to rescue a young girl who had been radicalised online by a Belgian jihadist who allegedly lured her to the town of Verviers.

Jihadists disguising themselves as asylum seekers and using illegal migration routes to enter Europe is also not a new phenomenon, with two of the 2015 Paris Bataclan terrorists entering France through the same routes.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.