Spain arrests two al Qaeda suspects


Two Al Qaeda-linked fighters patrol the streets of Gao, northern Mali, on July 16, 2012.


Issouf Sanogo

Spanish police arrested on Tuesday two "suspected terrorists" thought to have links to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

One of the suspects was arrested in the northern city of Zaragoza and was of Algerian origin, and the other was of Moroccan origin and was arrested in the southeastern region of Murcia.

CNN reported that the Interior Ministry identified the men as Algeria's Nou Mediouni and Morocco's Hassan El Jaaouani.

A statement from the ministry said the two men had a "profile" similar to that of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon attacks. It also noted that Spanish police worked with officials in France and Morocco to carry out the arrests.

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The comparison drawn between the suspects in Spain and those in Boston were only based on how the men in Spain were "radicalized," by going to online forums and chat rooms, as well as their interest in searching for bomb-making information on the internet.

The statement went on to say the men were believed to be members of a radical cell connected to the North African branch of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The group has been accused of numerous attacks and kidnappings across the region.

More details are to be released later.