Spain began its trial against a Sahrawi man from the Tindouf camps On May 23rd, who confessed his attempt to join ISIS and was successful in creating a network of supporters on line in a number of countries.
Originally arrested on March 28th, the accused man referred to as “Ismail,” introduced himself as a member of the “Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.” Additionally, during the proceedings held before the Spanish Public Prosecution, “Ismail” admitted his endeavor to join ISIS, resulting in the public prosecution to demand he be imprisoned for four years and six months.
According to Al Arab, “Ismail” has been running two groups on social networks that publish and distribute jihadist propaganda. This propaganda reaches a total of 185 people in countries such as Spain, Algeria, Germany, Turkey, Syria and Jordan. On these social networks “Ismail” is reported to have engaged in conversations expressing his support for ISIS and his strong animosity towards Spain, which he derogatorily referred to as “the land of infidelity,” as stated by the prosecutor. Even until the moment of his arrest, “Ismail” maintained communication with Facebook users who claimed to be jihadists present in a conflict zone.
“Ismail” is just one example of a growing number of detainees in Tindouf with extremist ideology. Nicolas Bay, a French member of the European Parliament, emphasized that “the Tindouf camps, which are under the control of the Polisario sponsored by Algeria, are an area for recruiting young people into criminal and jihadist networks whose activities are concentrated in the Sahel and Sahara region, which leads to the exacerbation and instability of this strategic region.” According to The Arab Weekly, researcher Muhammad al-Tayyar concurs, stating that “ISIS is expanding dangerously in the countries of the African Sahel region, especially Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, and is now controlling large geographical areas.”
Looking to the future, “Ismail” stated: “I do not see myself continuing to live in this country, and I am thinking of another destination that may be Germany, or the camp in Kahi in Mali, or in Senegal or Turkey, perhaps in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Chechnya, in Russia, but not here with the Spaniards, it is impossible.”