Spain arrests al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb suspect

Abdellatif Aoulad Chiba is arrested
Image caption Abdellatif Aoulad Chiba was taken into custody in the southern coastal town of Linea de la Conception

Spanish police have arrested a Moroccan man they say is linked to al-Qaeda's North African offshoot, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Abdellatif Aoulad Chiba, 37, is suspected of "indoctrination and terrorist training", officials say.

He was arrested in the southern coastal town of Linea de la Conception.

Officials allege that Mr Chiba belonged to an armed group allied to AQIM and managed a website with radical Islamist content, including training manuals.

"Abdellatif is believed to be the general administrator of an internet site which was a jihadist forum with radical content," police said in a statement.

They added that the site was "dedicated to the public distribution of statements and media products designed for the main Islamic terrorist organisations and their leaders".

His specific role, officials said, was the creation of manuals linked to "criminal activity and aimed at encouraging terrorist crimes".

His arrest was ordered by the country's national court after an increase in activity on the website, which is based in Spain. police said.

A statement from the interior ministry said Mr Chiba had been expelled from Jordan for suspected terror-related activities but gave no other details.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb emerged in early 2007 after an Algerian militant group, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), aligned itself with Osama Bin Laden's international network.

It has waged a campaign of suicide bomb attacks and ambushes in Algeria, and in recent years has become more active in the Sahara, where governments struggle to impose their authority and gangs of smugglers, bandits and rebels operate alongside the militants.

In June 2010, the group said it had killed Michel Germaneau, a French hostage held in Mali.

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