** The group leader was named by Spanish media as Lahcen Ikasrrien, who was held at Guantanamo Bay for several years but released on his return to Spain in 2005 for lack of evidence.
The Islamist group was recruiting members to fight with ISIS in Syria-Iraq.
Spanish police arrested eight people in pre-dawn raids in Madrid on Monday against a jihadist recruitment network led by a former Guantanamo Bay inmate, the government said.
The cell found and dispatched recruits for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants based in Syria and Iraq, Spain’s interior ministry said in a statement.
“It should be highlighted that the leader of this cell lived in Spain after passing through Guantanamo, having been arrested in Afghanistan in 2001,” it said, without providing further details.
Police have so far launched 12 raids, detaining eight people, and the investigation remains open, the ministry said.
Spain’s government has said it fears battle-hardened Islamist fighters may return to Spain from Syria and other conflict zones under the influence of Al-Qaeda-inspired groups, presenting a threat of attacks.
The latest strike by Spanish security forces is the third significant raid on jihadist recruitment cells announced in as many months.
On May 30, security forces arrested six suspects in Melilla, one of two Spanish-governed cities along with Ceuta on the northern Morocco coast.
Spain accused the network of recruiting and sending out jihadists to join “terrorist organizations” based in Mali and Libya.
Lahcen Ikassrien sued the Ministry of Justice and demanded 784,367 euros in damages for the four years of stay in Gitmo and the 374 days of detention suffered in Spain once delivered, tried and acquitted.