Spanish authorities have arrested a Muslim cleric — whom the New York Times once praised for his efforts to fight radicalization within Germany’s Islamic community — for alleged ties to the Islamic State.
Hesham Shashaa (aka Abu Adam), a 46-year-old Egyptian-Palestinian, was detained near Alicante in southeastern Spain on April 26 on charges of aiding the Islamic State, extolling terrorism and promoting Salafi-jihadism.
The Spanish Interior Ministry said that Shashaa had facilitated the travel to Spain of Islamic State jihadists from Syria and Iraq by providing them with money, refuge and fake documents.
Most recently, Shashaa had made arrangements for two jihadists — who are the subjects of international arrest warrants for their membership of the Islamic State — to travel from Turkey to Spain by providing them with false passports.
In addition, Shashaa fraudulently tried to obtain for two jihadists letters of invitation with the aim of facilitating their travel from Egypt to Spain.
According to the Spanish Interior Ministry, Shashaa has also been charged with disseminating Islamic State propaganda:
“The detainee took advantage of his privileged position within the Islamic Community of the province of Alicante to spread content extolling attacks committed by the terrorist organization Islamic State and cruelly disparaging their victims. In addition, he used social networks as a tool to generate hate by publishing videos in which terrorist leaders indoctrinate their followers to engage in violent jihad.”
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