The individuals are believed to be part of a structure collecting financial contributions from followers of the so-called Islamic State. The Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional) supported by Europol, arrested two individuals for their suspected involvement in the facilitation of terrorist financing in the Spanish provinces of Madrid and Toledo. They are believed to be part of the ‘remittance office’ in Europe of the so-called Islamic State. In direct communication with jihadi fighters, this network aimed at transferring assets to conflict zones. The network had contacts in different European countries who were in charge of collecting financial contributions from followers of the so-called Islamic State. The funds were mainly destined to support foreign fighters in Syria. A hawala network facilitated the final transactions sent from Spain to the conflict zones.
In the past year and a half, the Spanish National Police, with support from Europol, has carried out three other actions within the same investigation targeting terrorist financing. These have led to the arrests of three other individuals accused of being part of the same ‘remittance office’ in Europe of the so-called Islamic State. Currently, all of them are in prison.
Europol facilitated the information exchange and supported the case with operational analysis. During 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.