The wife, son and sister-in-law of the Algerian arrested in Arenal. | Miquel À. Cañellas


Algeria has requested the extradition of the man arrested on July 31 who is the suspected leader of a criminal human trafficking organisation that uses proceeds from this illegal trade for funding jihadist terrorism.

He was detained at a hotel in Arenal (Llucmajor), where he was staying with his wife, his son, his sister-in-law and his father-in-law. The Audienca Nacional High Court in Madrid approved his being taken into custody. Evidence presented to the court pointed to the man - Algerian, aged 30 - being the head of this organisation.

His family insist that they were on holiday in Mallorca and that the Algerian authorities "are lying and making everything up". His wife says that if he is returned to Algeria, he will be tortured. "I would like the European Court of Human Rights to intervene."

The family explain that he was once a customs agent and taxi driver in Algeria. He went to Libya in order to travel by sea to Italy, where he married his wife. He now makes a living as an installer of air-conditioning systems in Switzerland.

Since his arrest, police in Mallorca have suggested that his presence on the island was "totally circumstantial" and have rejected the possibility of there being an Islamic terrorist cell on the island. Reports did also say, however, that he has documentation for various countries and was travelling on a false passport.

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Aina Calvo, the national government's delegate in the Balearics, has said that his arrest has "nothing to do" with migrant boats coming to the islands.