Mexican woman arrested in Spain was fervent promoter of jihad, police say

Spanish Civil Guards escorts a Moroccan woman at Barcelona's airport, March 7, 2015.

Spanish Civil Guards escorts a Moroccan woman at Barcelona's airport, March 7, 2015.  (Reuters)

A 38-year-old Mexican woman living in Spain has been arrested and charged for cooperating with the jihad cause and allegedly helping in the recruiting efforts of her husband, Aziz Zaghnane, a Moroccan national captured 10 months ago.

Officers with the Spanish Guardia Civil said they were able to confirm the woman’s role in the terrorist cell after analyzing the electronic devices seized to her husband and four others.

The woman, whose identity has not yet been released, was born and raised in Monterrey. The couple lived in Pinto, just south of Madrid, and had two children under the age of 4, according to Spanish media outlets.

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Authorities in the case said there is evidence the woman was part of a network in charge of creating and distributing jihadist propaganda through various web platforms and instant messaging applications.

She explicitly called for participants willing to be trained and take part in terrorist activities, according to the Interior Ministry sources.

The woman converted to Islam in 2010 while still living in Mexico, they say, and radicalized her views after marrying Zaghnane.

She became a very influential figure among the community of Islamic women in Mexico, according to the police investigation.

Police say this and other recent developments show the growing importance of women within the propaganda apparatus of jihadist groups, especially ISIS, in which women have switched from mere wives or mothers of combatants to active recruiters and preachers of the jihadist ideology.

Since 2015, security Forces have arrested a total of 183 jihadi terrorists in Spain.