Paris attacks 'mastermind' tried to recruit Spanish women: Madrid

Paris attacks 'mastermind' tried to recruit Spanish women: Madrid
Abdelhamid Abaaoud
PHOTO: Reuters

Madrid - The suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, tried to recruit women living in Spain for the Islamic State group, Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Thursday.

"This person, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, tried to recruit Spaniards, especially women, though social networks to join and fight with Daesh," he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

"This was not to carry out attacks in Spain. Regarding this we have no knowledge," he added.

The minister said Islamic State has focused on recruiting women to "repopulate the caliphate" which it proclaimed in 2014 in the huge swathes of Syria and Iraq under its control.

Spanish police have arrested several women this year on suspicion of recruiting women and teenage girls for Islamic State jihadists.

Last month police arrested a 22-year-old Spanish woman at Madrid airport suspected of trying to join Islamist extremists in Syria.

Abaaoud was among those killed in a police raid in a suburb of the French capital, the Paris prosecutor said in a statement on Thursday.

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