Spanish police said Thursday they had arrested the alleged leader of two cells suspected of recruiting fighters for the Iraqi insurgency before being broken up this week.
The detainee may also have had links with the Madrid train bombings of 2004, police said.
Moroccan Omar Nakhcha was arrested early Thursday in the northeastern town of Santa Coloma de Gramanet.
Police suspect he is the leader of two well-organized and interconnected cells _ one based in Madrid and the other in the Barcelona-area town of Vilanova i la Geltru _ which were suspected of recruiting fighters and raising money for the Iraqi insurgency.
Twenty people were arrested Tuesday in a crackdown on the two groups, police said.
The two cells had links to people in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, police said.
Fifteen of the detainees were Moroccan, three were Spaniards, one was Turkish and one Algerian.
A police spokesman said Nakhcha was also suspected of having helped four suspected members of the cell that carried out the Madrid commuter train attacks evade police detection and most likely flee Spain.
More than 190 people were killed in the March 11 attacks in Madrid.
Dozens of people have been arrested in connection with the case. Seven of the suspected perpetrators killed themselves in a suicide blast less than a month after the train attacks as police moved into arrest them.