The Spanish and Moroccan security forces dismantled a six-member terror cell and arrested five suspected extremists in Morocco and one in Melilla, the Spanish Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
The leader of the group, a Spanish national, was one of the five arrested in Morocco while he was carrying “recruitment and educational” work for the Islamic State, Xinhua reports.
The 39-year-old suspect whose name was not disclosed, took advantage of his job as an educational assistant at a juvenile rehabilitation and rejuvenation centre to carry out recruitment and indoctrination activities.
The other five members are all Moroccans, although one of them was a resident in Melilla, Spain, where he was arrested.
“The investigation conducted by the National Police and the Moroccan DGST Service found that the group held its meetings at night behind closed doors where they planned major terror attacks,” Efe news quoted the Spanish Interior Ministry as saying in a statement.
“In addition, investigators detected physical training sessions that went so far as to simulate assassinations by decapitation.”
The security forces have detained at least 199 suspected extremists since Spain raised its terror threat level to four from a scale up to five.
This operation came weeks after the attacks on Barcelona and Cambrils where 16 people were killed and over 100 others wounded.