The ISIS-inspired propaganda cell that was broken up by Spanish police on Wednesday in Mallorca was led by a UK-based radical cleric, who once preached to one of the terrorists involved in the 2015 Bataclan massacre in Paris, sources say.
Spanish investigators secured their major anti-terrorist coup with the simultaneous arrest of four Moroccan men in Mallorca.
On police orders, there was also an arrest in Germany and in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham, where 44-year-old Tarik Chadlioui was held. The Belgian-born Islamic preacher is believed to have been the ringleader of the Mallorca-based team, giving them spiritual instructions.
His arrest prompted a debate in the UK over how such a controversial figure, “with over 29,000 Facebook followers” had been let so easily into the country two years ago and was leading a normal life.
According to Spanish Interior Ministry sources, Chadlioui is believed to have travelled to Mallorca to set up the cell there.
The investigation started in 2015 when on a website a series of videos were found showing the process of indoctrination of a young Muslim resident in Spain