Saturday 1 October 2016

Police seize 'enough equipment to supply an entire army' hidden as humanitarian aid bound for Syria

David Kearns

Published 04/03/2016 | 12:48

The uniforms were seized as part of efforts to stem the flow of supplies from Europe to ISIS Credit: National Spanish Police Department
The uniforms were seized as part of efforts to stem the flow of supplies from Europe to ISIS Credit: National Spanish Police Department

Spanish police claimed to have seized 20,000 military uniforms bound for Islamic State and other Jihadist militants fighting in Syria.

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The large shipment, weighing some five tonnes, was discovered in three shipping containers marked as ‘second-hand clothing’ in the port cities of Valencia and Alicante last month.

Spain's Interior Ministry said the haul was part of a "very active and effective business network" that had been sending supplies to ISIS from Europe since the emergence of the group during the Syria civil war.

“With its proximity to North Africa, Spain is emerging as a gateway for Islamist militants traveling to and from Europe

“It was enough equipment to supply an entire army,” a spokesperson added.

"With the roughly 20,000 military uniforms and accessories, it would have been possible for [this army] to be ready to enter into combat in any of the battlegrounds where jihadist terrorist organisations are operating around the world.”

The supplies were marked as 'second-hand clothes' Credit: National Spanish Police Department
The supplies were marked as 'second-hand clothes' Credit: National Spanish Police Department

Several people were taken into custody following the seizure, with police saying that one man was arrested for sending "military material, money, electronic and transmission material, firearms and precursors for making explosives" to Syria and Iraq via a company.

Five of those detained were Spanish citizens, police confirmed.

An investigation is still underway to determine where the equipment came from, as it is believed it was not manufactured in Spain.

The haul comes as a partial week-long ceasefire in Syria continues following months of negotiations between Government forces and several of the largely non-jihadists rebel groups.

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