“Indeed, 2021 is a year that is considered potentially dangerous and we are working on the possibility that some of the Daesh terrorists who in recent months have been returning to Europe could reach Spain.” In this way, a source from the Information services that deals with jihadist terrorism confirmed to EL CORREO GALLEGO a news item published last Sunday in La Razón, which warned of the possibility that radical Islamists could attack churches and uniformed patrols, following instructions received by the leaders of the Islamic State.
In this scenario, Santiago de Compostela again becomes the focus as a potential objective in this Holy Year in that center of Christianity. The fact that we are immersed in a pandemic does not seem to stop the jihadist threats, according to information examined by the Spanish antiterrorist forces.
“Since the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on August 17, 2017, our country has not modified its level 4 alert situation,” adds another source familiar with the threats from followers of the Islamic State. Spain is in the spotlight and the presence of jihadists in our country is not reduced. One piece of data supports it: “in 2020 and despite the confinement and restrictions caused by COVID, there were 23 operations against individuals directly linked to these movements.”
So far this year, there has already been an important operation in Catalonia, with the arrest of three people linked to terrorist movements: a Moroccan and two Libyans who entered Spain camouflaged among the many immigrants who arrive in Europe through our coasts. At least two of these subjects had fought in Libya, Syria and Iraq under the command of ISIS, and are considered to be returned terrorists (Foreign Terrorist Fighters, FTF). A Spanish convert who was prepared to “go into armed action” was also arrested.
The anti-terrorist forces had “quite precise” information that these FTFs would have the task of, once installed in our country, forming cells with radicalized Arab citizens and instructing them to carry out attacks.
This Monday, the Mossos activated the maximum alert protocols when they learned that a young Maghrebi, SH, who had been released by a judge after being arrested for an attack on an agent of legal authority, recorded a threatening message that he posted on networks, warning that he was going to attack in Spain. He was finally re-arrested.
DIRECT THREATS IN MESSAGES. These alerts also reached Galicia, and more specifically Santiago, where for a few months control over foreigners arriving from countries in conflict such as Syria, Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan, along with individuals from the Maghreb, has been tightened.
Compostela and the apostle Santiago church are cited in some of the intercepted messages that, through social networks, have been sent among radicalized groups settled in Spain. According to police sources, messages from Daesh leaders were also detected, instructing the returned terrorists with the intention of carrying out attacks to take advantage of the situation caused by the current pandemic.
La Razón reported, also citing those responsible for the fight against jihadism in Spain, that “the possibility of sending (Daesh) infected people and walking through various parts of the country chosen as a target has been contemplated.” A possibility on which the police sources that operate in Galicia consulted by EL CORREO are limited to saying that “nothing is ruled out, unfortunately.”