Spanish police arrested a man at Madrid's Barajas airport on Sunday who was attempting to join the Islamic State extremist group in war-torn Syria.

Spain's Interior Ministry said the suspect was detained by authorities in Jordan, where he was attempting to cross into Syria, and then handed over to Spain's Civil Guard for arrest.

The suspect is a Spanish citizen of Palestinian origin who lives on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands archipelago.

The suspect had been under police surveillance since 2014 when police detected that he was "in the process of jihadist radicalization" after having "consumed propaganda from the (IS) terrorist group which had led him to be willing to travel and join their ranks."

The suspect had already tried to enter Syria via Turkey in July, when Turkish authorities apprehended him and sent him back to Spain, according to Spanish police. He then planned to make a second attempt to reach Syria by traveling to Jordan earlier this month.

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Spanish police have arrested 164 individuals suspected of forming part of Islamic extremist groups since 2015.

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