Jihadists could be exploiting the German armed forces to get military training ahead of staging attacks in Europe or travelling to the Middle East, the head of German military counter-intelligence has warned. At least 20 former German soldiers have been identified fighting for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other groups in the Middle East, said Christof Gramm, the head of the MAD counter-intelligence agency. "We see a risk that the Bundeswehr could be used as a training camp for violent Islamists," Dr Gramm told Welt newspaper in an interview. The warning follows the discharge of a soldier from the German army after jihadist material was found on his computer. A court last month upheld the discharge of the soldier, who has not been named under German privacy laws. He had refused to disclose the reasons for a trip to Egypt in 2013 during which he visited a radicalised madrasa, and called for the introduction of sharia law in Germany. The attacks on Charlie Hebo and other targets in Paris in Jan 15 heightened concerns that jihadists had access to military training, the intelligence chief told Welt. In addition to the 20 former German troops in the Middle East, one former soldier has been identified fighting for pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine.
Spain/North Africa – Police arrested two suspected jihadists on the 10 Mar 15 in Spain’s North African territory of Ceuta on charges of belonging to a group that was “prepared” to launch an attack on Spanish soil, the government said. They were part of a cell that was fully prepared and willing to carry out an attack on national territory, it said. The latest arrests are part of a police operation that was linked to four other arrests in Ceuta on the 24 Jan 15, when officers detained two sets of Spanish brothers of Moroccan origin. In those January raids, police seized an automatic pistol, machetes and military uniforms. The government said those four suspects were highly trained and disposed to launch attacks in Spain. The latest statement said the two latest suspects were thought to be members of the same cell as the other four. Spain’s government has announced raids on a series of suspected Islamist cells over recent months, most of them in Ceuta and Melilla.