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Spain Arrests Al-Qaida-Linked Terror Suspect

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 15:  A digger passes an armoured police vehicle at the Madrid National Court in the Casa de Campo, on the first day of the Madrid train bombings trial, on February 15, 2007 in Madrid, Spain. The March 2004 attack on commuter trains killed 119 and wounded 1,700 people. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 15: A digger passes an armoured police vehicle at the Madrid National Court in the Casa de Campo, on the first day of the Madrid train bombings trial, on February 15, 2007 in Madrid, Spain. The March 2004 attack on commuter trains killed 119 and wounded 1,700 people. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)  (2007 Getty Images)

Authorities in Spain arrested the alleged leader of a terrorist recruitment network that is believed to have sent militants to carry out attacks for al-Qaida-linked groups in Syria, the country's interior ministry said. 

A ministry statement said Spanish citizen Yassin Ahmed Laarbi was arrested Monday in the Spanish north African enclave of Ceuta.

Police detained eight suspected members of the network June 21 in Ceuta. Laarbi could not be found during that operation.

The group is said to have sent 50 militants to Syria. The statement said Laarbi was also looking to go to Syria.

The group allegedly trained and financed the militants at bases in Ceuta and in neighboring Morocco.

In June, the ministry said the recruits fought against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and some had taken part in suicide bombings.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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