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Spanish police arrest 2 Moroccans for suspected IS links

MADRID — Spanish police have arrested two Moroccans for suspected links to the Islamic State group, including one who was allegedly studying intensely on the internet to carry out attacks against civilians, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

A ministry statement said a Moroccan arrested in the central town of Aranjuez spent many hours viewing and spreading IS-related video material and displayed a fanaticism that fit the profile of a dangerous "lone actor" recruited to carry out attacks.

The ministry said much of the material he received and sent concerned late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and four extremists who blew themselves up in Spain in 2004 following the Madrid train attacks.

The ministry later said police had arrested another Moroccan who had travelled to Turkey recently to join IS in Syria but was sent back by Turkish authorities.

The statement said the man, arrested in the northern town of Irun, had been under investigation for spreading propaganda for the IS group by praising its attacks and those who travelled to fight for it.

It said he was linked to two other Moroccans arrested in northern Spain over the past year for similar offences.

The ministry says Spanish police have arrested 170 suspected pro-jihadi activists since 2015.