MADRID—In Spain, terrorists with a jihadist nature “remain a major target”, according to the Annual Report of National Security of Spain.
This report highlights the important role of those people who return to their hometown, after specializing and carrying out attacks in the Middle East and Africa.
“Spain is one of the countries where jihadist networks operate, recruiting youngsters to carry out attacks in areas where an armed conflict is taking place,” the report notes. The big risk, according to experts is, that “having achieved the necessary expertise, they can return to Spain and represent a potential threat to attack on Spanish territory.”
The document prepared by the Department of National Security of the President’s Office indicates, that the recruitment is carried out by terrorist organizations operating outside the country – in Syria or Mali, for example. Furthermore, there are also cells and groups in Spain who act in accordance with the instructions of such organizations.
“The connection with the conflict in Syria, the presence and activity of jihadist volunteers from Spain and other surrounding countries is of particular concern,” the report explains. It is believed that the problem in Syria “will not be solved in the short-term, nor through a negotiated settlement, nor through the military.”
“In any case, the return of foreign jihadist fighters, eager to find new operations for the global jihad, or eager to directly attack companies with western interests in their countries of origin, should be an objective of special attention,” experts reiterate.
“In 2013, Spain made 90 arrests for local and international terrorism,” notes the same report, “which means a significant rise compared to 2012, with 38 arrests.”