MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police have arrested two Moroccan brothers in the northern city of Girona and charged them with helping to fund Islamic State’s operations in Syria and Iraq, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.
The pair, aged 22 and 33, diverted funds from Europe to pay the costs of moving members of the militant group into conflict zones, the ministry said.
Police found a large amount of money and telephone information at the brothers’ home, which they hope will yield details on Islamic State’s financing networks from Spain, the ministry said.
The arrests will help neutralize one of the financial support structures Islamic State has in Europe, it added.
The two otherwise unidentified men, who are charged with financing terrorism, collaboration with a terrorist group and indoctrination, sent money to Islamic State administrators operating under false identities, it said.
The investigation was the first in Spain to uncover concrete evidence of money transfers into Islamic State accounts from Europe.
A third brother who traveled to Syria with his wife and two sons had since died, the ministry said.
Including Wednesday’s arrests, Spain has detained close to 30 people so far this year with suspected links to Islamist militants.
Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by John Stonestreet and Hugh Lawson