The Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional), supported by Europol, has arrested a young woman, inspired by jihadist terrorism, who was willing to join fighters for the so-called Islamic State in Syria’s Idlib area.
The young woman, born and raised in Europe, had been rapidly radicalized showing her desire to become a ‘martyr’ for the terrorist organization. She adhered to the most violent forms of terrorist ideology, showing her support for the recent beheading of a French teacher who showed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad cartoons to his students.
The woman was preparing her departure to Syria, where she was going to marry a jihadist terrorist living in the Idlib area. She met the terrorist fighter through social networks at the end of 2019 and actively encouraged him to dedicate his life to fight for the jihad. In January 2020, she traveled to Turkey where she was in contact with members of the terrorist organization to whom she sent money to support their activities. Since then, she has dedicated her life to procuring money through criminal activities to finance her trip to the conflict area and support terrorist fighters. She planned to leave for Syria in November 2020. Her plan was to procure false ID documents to conceal her Spanish nationality and travel to the border area of Turkey with Syria. A facilitator was supposed to meet her there and smuggle her to the area controlled by jihadists in northwest Syria.
Europol facilitated the information exchange and supported the case with operational analysis. On 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.