MADRID “” Fourteen people went on trial today in Spain on charges of involvement with Islamic terrorist groups and recruiting extremists to fight in Iraq, a court official said.
The 14, mostly Moroccans, are charged with belonging to or collaborating with Islamic terrorism groups.
They are also accused of helping several people suspected in the March 11, 2004 terror bombings in Madrid to flee Spain.
The prosecution is seeking sentences of between seven and 14 years. A court official says trial was likely to last several days.
The 14 were arrested in a series of raids in recent years, most in the northeastern region of Catalonia.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with court regulations.
The defendants are accused of belonging to a network called Tigris that is alleged to have dealings with Ansar el Islam, a radical Islamic group linked to al-Qaida.
The group had its headquarters in the town of Santa Coloma de Gramanet, close to Barcelona. According to the prosecution, the house was used to recruit, indoctrinate and prepare future jihad fighters.
The prosecution said five people linked to the Madrid bomb attacks, in which 191 people were killed, visited the house. Among them was Moroccan Mohamed Afalah, who Spanish authorities say died in a suicide attack in Iraq in 2005.