Spanish police arrest two suspected terrorists

Spanish police have arrested two suspected terrorists with apparent links to an al Qaeda-affiliated group today.

 The Interior Ministry identified the suspects as Nou Mediouni, 23, from Algeria, who was arrested in the north-central city of Zaragoza, and Hassan El Jaouani, 52, from Morocco, who was detained in Murcia.

Spanish police worked with their counterparts in France and Morocco to carry out the latest arrests, an Interior Ministry statement said and they emphasised that there was no indication of an imminent attack.

Both of the suspects in Spain are unemployed, the second Interior Ministry spokesman said. Mediouni, arrested in Zaragoza, studied computer sciences but had not worked professionally in that field, the ministry statement said.

The two are suspected members of a radical cell close to the terrorist organization al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Interior Ministry said.

The two men have been under surveillance as part of an operation lasting more than a year run in cooperation with France and Morocco, the Spanish Interior Ministry said.

The arrests in Spain come days before the Madrid Marathon on Sunday.

About 26,000 runners are expected to take part in a marathon, half-marathon and 10-kilometre race, to be run at the same time. Security has been increased for the event. 

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