EFEMadrid

Spanish police on Monday arrested a Moroccan man suspected of running an Islamic State recruitment cell in a northern Spanish city, the Interior Ministry said.

The man allegedly led a jihadist recruitment agency in San Sebastian that sent foreign militants to join the IS ranks fighting in the wars in Syria and Iraq.

Other would-be militants were sent to Turkey in order to receive direct instructions from the IS to attack on European soil, the ministry said in a statement.

"The detainee was very active in attracting new recruits and showed little hesitation in approaching young people at risk of social exclusion, including those who were easily influenced or emotionally unstable," the statement said.

The statement added that he gained the trust of his prospective recruits by taking advantage of his role as a boxing teacher.

The detainee's former roommate, who purportedly only became radicalized whilst sharing an apartment with the recruitment ringleader, was arrested by Moroccan police upon request of Spanish Intelligence.

The second cell member revealed he had been ordered to travel to Turkey where he received a USB memory stick containing instructions provided by the IS.

A third cell member was arrested in Strasbourg, France, in Nov. 2016.

This latest arrest came part of collaborative counter-terror program headed by Spain's National Intelligence Center (CNI) and Morocco's counter-terror agency.

Together these intelligence agencies have targeted suspected jihadist cells as well as militants returning from the conflict zones in the Middle East.

Since 2015, Spanish security forces have arrested 181 suspected jihadist militants.

The country maintained its terror alert level at 4, the second highest position on the scale.