Police have arrested six suspected members of Islamic State, four of them in Spain and one each in Britain and Germany.
Spain’s Interior Ministry said the man arrested in Britain was a 44-year-old Salafist imam who led the group and who was sought by several countries. He was detained in the city of Birmingham at Spain’s request.
The statement said investigations began in 2015 when police detected videos promoted by the imam that documented the recruitment, indoctrination and sending of a young Muslim resident in Spain to Syria.
The ministry said the cell worked to recruit new members and actively promoted IS armed activities.
The four arrests in Spain occurred on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, where the cell was allegedly based.
According to police, the detainees had openly justified and glorified suicide terror attacks such as those that have struck Europe over the past year.
Police noted their alleged allegiance to IS and their justification of so-called lone wolf attacks and violent terror attacks across Europe.
Property searches in all three countries were ongoing.
The operation was conducted co-operatively with the aid of Spain’s intelligence agency, German federal and local police, London’s Metropolitan Police, the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit in Birmingham and Europol.