The arrests by the Guardia Civil were at a mosque in Sant Antoni de Portmany. | Sergio G. Canizares


Two imams have been arrested by the Guardia Civil in Ibiza and charged with supporting so-called Islamic State. The Interior Ministry has issued a statement which says that they are suspected of incitement to commit terrorist acts and indoctrination.

Both are imams at the Al Fath mosque. Aged 31 and 35, the ministry's statement says that they have used social networks to express publicly and repeatedly their support for IS and al-Salafi jihadist ideology. Their activities on the internet and social networks began to increase in 2012, coinciding with the Arab Spring and the movement of foreign fighters to join IS in Syria and Iraq.

One of the two, identified as A.E.M., used his Facebook profile to spread propaganda and to facilitate access to IS videos and other material. Both fostered feelings of hatred and violence against so-called "enemies of Islam". They praised those who had decided to travel to conflict areas in order to "make jihad".

The ministry adds that there was particular concern with the influence they were exerting over minors attending their classes at the mosque. In addition, both have previous convictions for physical abuse of minors at the mosque.

Since Spain was placed on level four terrorist risk alert last year, 156 supposed jihadists have been detained. The latest operation in Ibiza was carried out by the Guardia Civil intelligence command in cooperation with Morocco's directorate for territorial surveillance.