Since 2004, Ansar al-Islam members have been working in Spain to recruit volunteers among the Moroccan and Algerian communities to fight for Al Qaeda in Iraq, said Judge Baltasar Garzon.
Thirteen of the people indicted Friday on charges of membership in a terrorist organization are already jailed pending the start of their trial, and Garzon order them to remain in custody.
Six others who were indicted on the same charges are still at large, and Garzon issued international arrest warrants for them. They include Khaled Abidi, alleged to be the leader of the group of suspects in Spain and thought to currently be in Syria.
Thirteen other people were charged Friday with collaborating with Ansar al-Islam. Four of them were released on bail and the other nine were released but ordered to appear periodically before a court pending the trial.
All of the suspects — except for the six suspects still at large — were arrested in a series of operations in June 2005, mostly in the eastern region of Valencia, the indictment said.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington, Spanish police have arrested hundreds of Islamic terror suspects, many in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings which killed 191 people. In recent years security forces have focused on groups suspected of recruiting mujahedeen fighters and suicide bombers, or for collecting money to finance Al Qaeda and linked groups abroad.
Twenty-nine suspects, most of them Moroccan nationals, are on trial in the Spanish capital for their alleged roles in the Madrid train attacks.