This international operation against jihadist terrorism has been led by the Spanish National Police

Morocco, Algeria, Spain, the United States and Mauritania participate in the dismantling of a DAESH support network established on three continents

Agents of the Spanish National Police have led an anti-terrorist operation that has resulted in the arrest in Spain of five people in the provinces of Valencia (2), Cáceres, Alicante and Guipúzcoa. The detainees are accused of belonging to and collaborating with the DAESH terrorist organisation. Four of them have been imprisoned by court order. 

  1. Eight detainees in the first phase of the investigation 
  2. More than 200,000 euros in cryptocurrencies seized 

This is the second phase of the MIYA operation, initiated by the General Commissariat of Information (CGI) of the National Police in 2021, which has counted on the collaboration of Intelligence and Security Services from twelve countries, among them the Moroccan Direction Générale de la Surveillance du Territoire (DGST), the Algerian Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure (DGSI), the Mauritanian Direction Générale de la Sûreté Nationale (DGSN), the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Swiss FEDPOL and EUROPOL.

In Spain, the CGI was assisted by its Provincial Information Brigades in Valencia, Alicante, Cáceres and San Sebastián, as well as the National Intelligence Centre (CNI). The investigation has been coordinated by the Juzgado Central de Instrucción number 6 and the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Audiencia Nacional. 

Eight detainees in the first phase of the investigation 

After a year and a half of investigation, it was detected that a person of Maghrebi origin, resident in Spain, was in contact with a jihadist who had entered Europe via the so-called Balkan route. The objective of this radical was to reach France to commit an attack in the name of DAESH, to which the person under investigation in Spain offered his collaboration. After an intensive investigation, the CGI's jihadist counterterrorism specialists located the man in Switzerland who intended to carry out an attack in France, and immediately passed the information on to their colleagues at the Swiss FEDPOL.

Given the risk involved in planning this attack, a joint operation was organised in record time in Switzerland and Spain, resulting in the simultaneous arrest of both radicals in March 2022. In this first phase of the operation, six other arrests were made in Europe and the Maghreb, bringing the total number of detainees to eight. The one arrested in Spain was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for terrorist offences and released in mid-2023.

Following this first part of the operation, CGI analysts discovered that the two detainees were part of an international network supporting DAESH that was established on three continents. For this reason, a joint macro-operation was launched with the security and intelligence services of twelve countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Maghreb. 

More than 200,000 euros in cryptocurrencies seized 

As a result of this complex investigation, which has lasted two and a half years, a jihadist network supporting DAESH with branches in Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Sahel, the Maghreb and Europe has been uncovered. Its members were allegedly involved in raising funds from the commission of crimes in Europe to finance their terrorist activities. They moved large amounts of money through international shipments and cryptocurrencies, with almost €200,000 worth of cryptocurrencies seized in the searches.

Some members of the network also tried to indoctrinate new followers in the jihadist creed and support them in case they showed a desire to carry out terrorist attacks. The network was found to have helped in the planning of at least two attacks that were finally neutralised by the action of the security services.

The investigation in Spain has now concluded with the arrest of five people. One of those under investigation in Spain had suffered a strong radicalisation in recent months; in recent weeks he had shown his desire to carry out an attack, a circumstance that precipitated this operation. During the search of his home, small arms ammunition and an axe were found. The detainees have also been seized with manuals for making explosives, manuals for indoctrinating minors and jihadist propaganda.

This operation has led to the dismantling of part of the DAESH infrastructure and support channels established in Europe, the Middle East and the Maghreb, as well as support for new followers in their jihadist desires. This operation has also shown the importance of international collaboration in neutralising the threat.

So far this year, the General Intelligence Police Station has carried out 22 operations in which 54 suspected jihadists have been arrested, 36 of them in nine operations carried out in the last two months.