3

The National Police this morning arrested a 26-year-old Moroccan suspected of links to the so-called Islamic State. He has been named as Mohammed Harrak and the arrest was at his residence in the Son Gotleu district of Palma.

The suspect is said to have used social networks to attempt to recruit others, including minors, to become Jihadists and to go to Syria in order to join IS. He is also said to have been seeking to commission terrorist attacks in Spain and other European countries. Intelligence suggests that he had close links with IS and with known terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

He was apparently planning on forming a small contingent of recruits to travel to Syria and Iraq, while he himself was undergoing harsh physical training and showed an interest in training in order to join a military organisation.

According to interior ministry reports, he was involved with two groups on social networks. For recruits to fight with IS, he was issuing advice on how to travel undetected by the security forces. To this end, he had established a network of contacts with IS members in order to facilitate movement to territories controlled by the terrorist organisation.

In seeking recruits, he looked for profiles on social networks of those who might be most vulnerable and liable to be radicalised as a recruit. Once he had selected them, he sent out highly radical messages, eliminating those who were not receptive and concentrating on those who responded. The next stage of his process was to determine whether there was a willingness to engage in terrorist activities.

The national government's delegate to the Balearics, Teresa Palmer, who has responsibility for the islands' security issues, appealed for calm and for caution in not spreading in any type of alarm. She said that she had not been told if the suspect had planned any specific attack. "He is a Majorcan resident who has been active in incitement on social networks," she stated. As this is a crime under the Penal Code, this had led to his arrest.