Al-Qaeda video threating Spanish troops ‘genuine’
30 March 2007, MADRID - Spain's CNI intelligence service confirmed the authenticity of a videotape purportedly from Al Qaeda that threatens attacks against Spanish troops serving in Afghanistan.
30 March 2007
MADRID - Spain's CNI intelligence service confirmed the authenticity of a videotape purportedly from Al Qaeda that threatens attacks against Spanish troops serving in Afghanistan.
Defence minister Jose Antonio Alonso said the government "does not discount any threat or pressure" coming from international terrorists and especially when linked to Al Qaeda.
Regarding the latest violent incident experienced by Spanish troops in Afghanistan, which occurred on March 15 but was revealed on Wednesday in Parliament, the minister commented that "it is thought" that two men were using a motorcycle to transport the bomb that exploded prematurely were going to attack Spanish troops and/or another military contingent.
He said that the motorcycle approached a Spanish convoy but exploded while still about 200 metres (yards) away, a blast which did not injure any of the troops.
Alonso said that the 550 troops Spain has in Afghanistan will remain in the country on the same terms as in the past, "within the strict framework" of the U.N., helping to create security and allow the reconstruction of the country as per the aim of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
Meanwhile, a poll released on Thursday shows that almost half of the Spanish public supports their country's continued troop presence in Afghanistan, even though nine out of 10 view the military mission as dangerous.
The polling conclusions were drawn from the Real Instituto Elcano telephone survey of 1,200 people nationwide.
At the press conference at which the polling results were announced, Elcano's main researcher, Javier Noya, said that 44 percent of Spaniards feel the Afghanistan mission is "rather dangerous" but the percentage believing that it is "very dangerous" has risen from 34 to 46 percent of those surveyed.
Nevertheless, 49 percent of those polled said that the Spanish troops should continue to carry out their mission, 4 percent said that Madrid's troop contingent should be increased in the Central Asian country and 45 percent said they should be withdrawn.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news