MADRID (Reuters) – A Spanish judge charged 32 men on Friday with working for an Islamist network recruiting, and financing and indoctrinating fighters to go to Iraq from Spain.
The group, six of whom are abroad or in unknown locations, was part of a militant network linked to al Qaeda, operating between 2004 and 2007, judge Baltasar Garzon said in a document.
“They had a common aim which was to send mujahideen to Iraq from the Iberian peninsula,” he said, adding that they also aimed to traffic drugs and weapons.
The group, whose nationalities were not provided but mostly had Arab names, operated in separate units across Spain, most of them in Barcelona.
They used code to communicate, and court documents set out conversations between the accused organising recruitment activities and plotting to send different members to the Middle East.
More code talk:
“In conversations held, when they speak of ‘getting in a taxi to go to France’ they mean ‘go to Iraq to carry out a suicide bombing’,” the document said.
Police have arrested more than 100 Islamist suspects since the Madrid bombings, with some held over an alleged plot to blow up the High Court.