Saturday 05 November 2016

Spanish Party Island of Ibiza Sobers up to the Arrest of Two ISIS-supporting Imams

BY Bruce Cornibe · | November 4, 2016

The island of Ibiza is known by some as “the clubbing capital of the world[,]” but there’s more than partying occurring on the Spanish island with a population of around 132,000. Apparently, two radical imams, ages 31 and 35, were arrested recently “on suspicion of supporting the Islamic State (Isis/Daesh) terrorist group and inciting violent jihad.” The International Business Times describes the situation saying:

“They publicly and repeatedly expressed on social networks their support for the terrorist group Daesh, its methods and its Salafist-jihadist ideology,” the Guardia Civil said in a statement.

It added that the imams were Moroccan nationals, and were “imams in a mosque, a privileged position from which to exert influence over members of the Muslim community on the island”.

Officers said the younger of the two used his Facebook account to “spread ISIS propaganda“. They also claimed the pair had incited worshippers at their mosque – named as Masjid al Fath – to hate non-Muslims and praised those who fought for IS in Iraq and Syria.

A spokesman for Spain’s Interior Ministry said: “One of the things that most worried investigators was the influence that both individuals exerted on the members of the Islamic community in Ibiza, highlighting as especially serious the problem of children who went to classes they taught themselves at the mosque.”

Unfortunately, the International Business Times article doesn’t give other important details such as the duration that the imams had been preaching at the mosque as well as supporting the Islamic State. However, the article mentions the imams’ Moroccan background. Morocco is a country that has a jihadist problem. The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR) shows from a 2015 article that about 1,500 people left Morocco to fight for Sunni militants in Syria/Iraq. Even though we typically don’t hear about terrorism affecting Spain as much as other large European countries it is still a target for groups like ISIS. An August 2016 UK Express piece shows the deep-seated hatred some jihadists have for Spain. The Express states:

An article published by Al-Wafa’, a media company affiliated with ISIS, also predicts Spain will be conquered by the death cult, which is also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh.

Author Abu Marya Al-Aseef said fighters should use explosives, machine guns and even trucks to avenge the “crimes committed by Spain against Muslims”.

The call-to-arms comes a month after an ISIS extremist ploughed a lorry into crowds of spectators at a Bastille Day fireworks show in the French city of Nice.

In the latest warning of attacks on Europe, the extremist also urges people living in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, and Libya to kidnap Spaniards and either behead them or exchange them for Muslim prisoners.

The fanatic ordered followers to kidnap westerners to be used to exchange for terrorist prisoners.

He wrote: “As their governments kill our brothers, so should we [seek] revenge and reprisal.”

The article, titled Spain [of] Fernardo, We Vow [to Seek] Revenge, which was seen by US-based terror monitoring organisation MEMRI, says Spanish troops killed 60,000 Muslims in the ancient battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, known in Islamic history as the battle of Al-Uqab.

Al-Aseef says Spanish soldiers are “still killing Muslims in the eastern and western parts of the earth, sometimes with bomb-carrying air jets and other times with the direct participation [of soldiers] on the ground”.

He says Muslims should avenge those deaths by carrying out attacks on Spanish soil.

Islamists and jihadists are usually well aware of the so-called “Golden Age of Islam” – “death of Muhammad through the 13th Century[.]” For many devout Muslims this period is a source of pride, since it supposedly represents a time of great achievement and advancement for Islam. This allows jihadist leaders to use the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (which helped contribute to the eventual end of the “Golden Age of Islam”) and the Crusades as a rallying cry to settle old scores. Their goal is not only to reclaim the caliphate at its height, but to expand it throughout the rest of the world. This Islamic imperial mindset is further demonstrated by the fact that officials in Spain have witnessed a rise “in jihadists preaching to Muslims throughout Spain about retaking Al-Andalus, which is the Arabic name for parts of Spain, Portugal, and France under Muslim control from 711 up to 1492.” This desire to reclaim ‘Islamic land’ is rooted in a verse from the Quran (“And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you…” –Quran 2:191).

Even though the Madrid train bombings have compelled Spain to take greater security measures against jihadists, Spain still faces a number of problems. For example, Spain has tens of thousands of converts to Islam (according to a 2015 Gatestone Institute article) who “are especially susceptible to radicalization[.]” In addition to a growing number of Muslims in Spain, Spain provides “a key entry point for human trafficking mafias being used by jihadist veterans seeking to return to Europe after fighting in the Middle East.” Spanish authorities must continue to be vigilant like they were with the arrests of the two imams from the mosque on the island of Ibiza.


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