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Terrorism suspects held in Spain

By CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman

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Acts of terror

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Spanish police have arrested 10 suspects wanted for allegedly providing logistical support, including financing, to radical Islamic groups, the Interior Ministry says.

The arrests, which began about 7 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) Wednesday, took place in the eastern provinces of Alicante and Murcia, and the southern province of Granada.

In previous years, other suspected Islamic militants have been arrested in Alicante and Granada provinces.

The ministry, in a statement, linked the 10 suspects to an Algerian-based radical Islamic organization, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, which the Ministry described as the Algerian branch of al Qaeda.

Most of the 10 arrested appeared to be Moroccan-born or Algerian-born militants, a National Court spokeswoman told CNN.

The identities of the suspects were not immediately made public. Spanish authorities by law can hold terrorism suspects for 72 hours before an arraignment.

There was no immediate indication that authorities were linking the 10 to any imminent attack, the spokeswoman said, simply that they were alleged to have been involved in logistical support for terrorism.

The latest arrests boosted to 63 the number of suspected Islamic terrorists arrested this year in Spain, the ministry said.

Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso, told a Madrid news conference: "We're talking about a network. The inner working of Islamic terrorism is complicated. They act in a network, with links to different countries."

He said a 10-month investigation led to Wednesday's arrests.

The ministry, in its statement, said that Spanish police had found links in this operation to Algerian-born individuals residing in Germany, Holland, Britain and Denmark and that Spanish police had contacted authorities in those four countries to provide information about the investigation.

The ministry also announced: "With this operation, the infrastructure of this cell has been dismantled in our country."

The Ministry statement said that in addition to the arrests, police searched various homes and businesses, the latter allegedly used as a cover for the terrorist financing activities of the suspects.

CNN partner station CNN+ showed pictures from Alicante city, capital of the province of the same name, in which heavily-armed paramilitary Civil Guards patrolled a street where a telephone call center, linked to at one of the suspects, had been searched.

Seven of the suspects were arrested in Alicante province, 2 in Granada and 1 in Murcia.

The alleged terrorist financing was carried out through drug trafficking, forged credit cards and property and vehicle theft, the ministry said.

The operation was ongoing, under the direction of Judge Fernando Andreu from the National Court, which handles terrorism cases, the spokeswoman said.

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