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Spanish police arrest man accused of funding return of Islamic State fighters to Europe

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Spanish police arrest man accused of funding return of Islamic State fighters to Europe
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Spanish police have arrested a Syrian man accused of facilitating the return of Islamic State fighters to Europe.

The National Police said the man is suspected of being a part of the terror group's financial structure, and he has been detained without bail.

Police said the operation was part of the fight against so-called Islamic State's (ISIS) new strategy of returning its fighters to their home countries, following the loss of its territory in Iraq and Syria.

The man, who was arrested in the Spanish capital Madrid, is accused of collecting money from sympathisers and delivering it to ISIS in Syria.

The operation was conducted in collaboration with Europol, the EU law enforcement agency, the National Police said.

According to the European Commission, more than 42,000 foreign fighters joined terrorist organisations between 2011 and 2016, around 5,000 of whom are believed to be from Europe.

Read more: What is Europe's approach to repatriating ISIS members? | Euronews answers