Spanish police arrest 2 suspected Islamic extremists

Madrid, Apr 23 (EFE).- Two suspected members of an Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, cell were arrested Tuesday in Spain, the National Police said.

Spain's National Court, however, has not confirmed that the two suspects have links to the terrorist group.

Nou Mediouni, an Algerian, was arrested in the eastern city of Zaragoza and Hassan El Jaaouani, a Moroccan, was detained in Murcia, a city in southeastern Spain.

Investigators searched the suspects' residences, the National Police said.

Mediouni was a regular contributor to an online forum used by AQIM to recruit radicals, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The suspect had received instructions to report to a Jihadist training camp in northern Mali, but police pressure forced him to return to Spain, where he "showed a high level of frustration at not being able to die as a martyr," the ministry said.

El Jaaouani also had links to AQIM leaders in Mali and to Islamic terrorist recruiters in Spain, the Interior Ministry said.

The Moroccan had contacts with one of the people implicated in the January 2011 kidnappings and killings of two French citizens, the ministry said.

The operation to arrest the two suspected AQIM members was ordered by National Court Judge Santiago Pedraz and investigators are still gathering evidence.