MADRID, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Spanish police on Wednesday arrested a 71-year-old man who is suspected of sending large sums of money from Spain to help finance the Islamic State (DAESH) in Syria.
The Spanish newspaper "ABC" named the man arrested as Farhan Salman Fizhir and reported he was born in Iraq, but now has Spanish nationality. It confirmed he was detained in an operation which also saw police search two flats in the Spanish capital city of Madrid.
One of those searches was at Fizhir's residence in Calle Nivar which is in the Orcasitas district in the south of Madrid, where a large immigrant community resides.
According to local media reports, Fizhir was in direct contact with people responsible for the Islamic State's financial apparatus and that he was one of the organization's most important sources of income in Europe.
He is thought to have sent money collected in Europe to the Islamic State through a number of different methods including one known as "hawala", which is a system based on a network of trusted money brokers rather than on moving cash or transfers between banks and thus much harder to trace.
According to Spain's Royal Elcano Institute, an international and strategic studies think tank, 420 suspected jihadists were arrested in Spain between 2012 and 2018.
From the beginning of this year to Sept. 22, another 45 suspected jihadists were detained in 22 different police operations, ABC said in a recent article.