A network of 250 businesses in Spain is financing Islamist terrorists, according to a report in Sunday’s El Pais newspaper citing sources in the police and secret service.
Among the businesses are telephone shops, butchers and grocery stores, the report said.
The small businesses were able to send money to groups like al-Qaeda and Islamic State in Syria without any kind of control using the traditional Muslim Hawala money-transfer system, it added.
Hawala is used by 150,000 Muslims in Spain to transfer their savings abroad. It is not controlled as it is outside the established banking system.
“The jihadists are not only recruiting terrorists here, they are also supplying money from Spain to terrorist groups,” the report quoted an official as saying.
“The network has expanded recently and now includes some 250 Hawala companies in Spain,” he said in the article.