SHAFAQNA – At least 115 citizens have left Spain so far in 2015 to join terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq, Spanish interior minister said late Thursday.
Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said that 14 out of the 115 citizens had been deported back to Spain, nine of whom were languishing in prison, while the remaining five were released.
Spanish security forces arrested at least 566 people since 2004 in 122 anti-terrorist operations, Diaz said.
“Forty-two suspects linked to terrorist groups were arrested within first four months of this year,” the minister said.
He said that Spain wished to be a pioneer in the fight against terrorism.
“Spain is fulfilling its responsibilities at national and international levels,” he said.
A Spanish couple, who arrived in Turkey in 2014, had allegedly tried to cross into Syria to join ISIS, but was later taken into custody in Istanbul after Spain issued a “red notice” against them.