Spain holds two on suspected terrorist links

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Spain holds two on suspected terrorist links

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Spanish police have arrested two men for suspected links to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

One of the men was held in Zaragoza. The Interior Ministry allege that Nou Mediouni from Algeria trained as a fighter in Northern Mali.

Authorities said the arrests were the result of shared intelligence with France and Morocco.

A second man was taken into custody in Murcia. Hassan El Jaaouani from Morocco is also alleged to have extremist Islamist contacts in Mali.

Security forces claim they were radicalised in chat rooms and downloaded bomb-making information from the Internet.

The men have been under surveillance for more than a year.

Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said their behaviour alerted police: “The profile of these two alleged terrorists detained this morning, according to police, responds to the profile of the ‘lone wolf’ like Merah in France (Mohammed Merah who attacked a Jewish school in Toulouse), or the two suspects in the recent Boston Marathon attack.”

The men are yet to be charged.

The arrests come ahead of the Madrid Marathon, which takes place on Sunday. Around 26,000 runners are due to take part and security has been increased following the attack on the Boston Marathon.