Spain arrests 9 suspected members of jihadi group in probe of Brussels attacks

32 civilians died and at least 300 more were injured in the 2016 blasts.

ByABC News
April 25, 2017, 1:35 PM

— -- Nine suspected members of a jihadi group were arrested in raids today in Spain, most of whom are alleged to have a direct connection to people suspected of carrying out attacks in Brussels in 2016 that killed 32 people and wounded 300 others, according to police.

All nine are Moroccan citizens living in Spain, police said. Guns and drugs were found during the arrest.

A Spanish interior ministry official said the arrest of the nine in the Catalonia region was focused on Oussama Atar, the suspected mastermind of the attacks on Brussels' airport and subways last year.

The suspects are being questioned now and will make their first appearances in court on Thursday, according to the official.

In a separate operation, two other people were taken into custody in what authorities described as an anti-terror raid in Segovia, north of Madrid, a Spanish interior ministry official said. One of the two was a Spanish citizen, the other Moroccan, the official said. Authorities provided no confirmation that the two arrested have any connection to the Brussels attacks.

The arrest in Segovia was linked to an arrest Saturday of an Egyptian citizen, Hatem Mokhtar Abdallah Said, the interior ministry official said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Brussels in March 2016.

Last month, Brussels observed a moment of silence to remember the victims on the one-year anniversary of the bombings, which were the deadliest such attacks in Belgium's history.

ABC News' Ben Gittleson contributed to this report.

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