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UK terror suspect held in Spain over involvement in weapons programme for Islamic State

London: A Bangladeshi-origin businessman from Wales has been arrested in Spain over his alleged involvement in a worldwide Islamic State weapons programme unearthed by the UK media.

Ataul Haque is believed to be linked to a network of front companies, run from an office in Cardiff, which are accused of financing attacks in the US and shipping military- grade equipment for Islamic State around the world, the Sunday Times reported.

Spanish police allege that the 34-year-old was involved in "one of the most secretive and sophisticated" branches of the terrorist organisation and that it aimed to create weaponised drones.

Balaclava-clad police with assault rifles raided Haque's home in Merida, southwest Spain, on Friday morning. He later appeared before an investigating judge at the national criminal court in Madrid.

The arrest follows a Sunday Times investigation last month into a network of companies in south Wales set up by Haque's brother, Siful Sujan, who later travelled to Syria to become a senior figure in the Islamic State weapons development programme and was killed, aged 31, by an American drone strike in 2015.

Sujan and Haque were directors of Ibacstel Electronics, which operated from a business park in Cardiff.

In 2015, the company was used to send USD 7,700 in cash to an Islamic State supporter in the US state of Maryland for "causing destruction or conducting a terrorist attack in the United States," according to US court papers, based on FBI evidence.

Haque, who once lived in Pontypridd, moved to Spain in August 2015 with his Spanish-born wife, Ana Gonzalez, 34, a Muslim convert.

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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2017 16:44:32 IST