SPANISH authorities are constructing a “ring of steel” around Spain to prevent terror attacks on beaches packed with holidaymakers. Armed police are set to descend and patrol key threat…
SPANISH authorities are constructing a “ring of steel” around Spain to prevent terror attacks on beaches packed with holidaymakers.
Armed police are set to descend and patrol key threat areas in mainland Spain and resorts in the Balearic Islands – which includes Majorca and Menorca.
It comes as Spain remains at level four of the anti-terror alert – the second highest of a scale of five and the same ranking as the UK – following the latest series of deadly terrorist attacks in Europe.
The Guardia Civil also has maritime patrol vessels in its territorial waters linked to the SIVE Integrated Exterior Vigilance System, part of a network of the radar controlling the Balearic coastline.
In the last few days they have intercepted two boats carrying a total of 27 male suspected illegal immigrants from north Africa.
It is a favoured tactic of Islamic State to sneak terrorists into European countries posing as asylum seekers.
Fighters from Tunisia and Morocco form a large part of their forces in Syria and Iraq, and the regime also has strongholds in Syria and Egypt.
Spain is fearful of a deadly attack similar to the Tunisia’s Sousse massacre in 2015 which killed 38 people.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned British holidaymakers that there is a “general threat” from terrorism in Spain.
Its website states: “Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. The Spanish authorities take measures to protect visitors, but you should be vigilant and follow the instructions of the local authorities.
“In 2015, Spanish police disrupted a number of groups suspected of recruiting individuals to travel to Syria and Iraq.
“Some of them expressed an intention to carry out attacks in Europe. Several further police operations have taken place in 2016. Spanish authorities believe that a number of Spanish nationals have successfully travelled to Syria and Iraq.”
Three Moroccans were arrested in Spain last week on suspicion of belonging to ISIS, the Spanish Ministry of Interior said.
Two suspects, aged 26 and 37, were arrested separately in Roda de Ter on charges inciting jihadists to carry out terrorist acts on social media.
A 45-year-old Moroccan-Spanish citizen was also arrested in Benetússer in the province of Valencia on charges of using social media to indoctrinate and recruit new jihadist members to ISIS, the ministry added.
According to the Spanish Ministry of Interior, there were more arrests of jihadists in Spain than any other country in 2015 apart from France.
There were 195 in Spain, with 424 in France, 134 in the UK and 40 in Germany, Europol figures revealed.
Last year, a top ISIS recruiter was arrested in Palma on Majorca amid fears he was masterminding an attack in Spain.