6 Jailed on Terror Charges in Spain

The Associated Press
Friday, June 1, 2007; 7:28 AM

MADRID, Spain -- A Spanish judge ordered six people held in jail on provisional charges of belonging to a terrorist group, while freeing six others, the National Court said Friday.

The 12 were among 16 people _ 14 Moroccans and two Algerians _ arrested Monday on suspicion of recruiting volunteers for the insurgency in Iraq and other countries. Four were released Tuesday but are still considered suspects.

Besides the six jailed by Judge Baltasar Garzon, four were released on bail of $4,035 while two were ordered to appear before a court each week.

Abdelaziz Houari Mellas and Mostafa Aztout, two of the six jailed, were alleged to be the leaders of the recruiting cell.

The court said computer materials, jihad propaganda and several mobile phones seized during the pre-dawn raids Monday were being investigated. No arms or explosives were discovered.

Police said the operation was connected to one in January 2006 in which 22 people were arrested in raids against jihad-recruitment cells in Spain.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington, Spanish police have arrested hundreds of Islamic terror suspects, many in connection with the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, that killed 191 people.

In recent years, police have focused on cells suspected of recruiting mujahedeen fighters and suicide bombers or for collecting money to finance al-Qaida and linked groups abroad.

Twenty-nine suspects, most of them Moroccan, are on trial in the Spanish capital for their alleged roles in the train attacks. The attacks were claimed by Islamic radicals to avenge the presence of the country's troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

© 2007 The Associated Press