Spain facing risk of new terrorist attack

7th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 Madrid 2005, MADRID - Spain's Interior minister said the country faces a "significant" risk of new terrorist attacks as it marks the one-year anniversary this week of the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people.

7 Madrid 2005

MADRID - Spain's Interior minister said the country faces a "significant" risk of new terrorist attacks as it marks the one-year anniversary this week of the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people.

"We are confronted with a significant level of risk of new attacks, more than in other countries with our geography and politics," the minister, Jose Antonio Alonso, said in an interview with the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia.

Alonso also addressed the status of the inquiry into the attacks last 11 March for which a group allied with the al-Qaeda network has claimed responsibility.

"The responsibility for the attacks centres clearly on a group linked to the global Al-Qaeda network," he said.

"The attacks were carried out with money, means and equipment gathered in Spain."

In total, 74 suspects, most of them Moroccans residing in Spain, have been identified by Spanish authorities for their suspected roles in the attacks and 22 have been placed in preventive detention.

"One of the consequences of the tragedy of 11 March was the need to step up measures of precaution and vigilance," Alonso said.

Last year, 144 suspected Islamist militants were arrested in Spain, he said.

Alonso also noted that in 2004 an additional 300 police and security officers were assigned to the fight against international terrorism, and the same number of officers will be added this year.

"We will ultimately have a force of about 1,000 agents," he said, adding that it was a bigger anti-terror force than "other European Union countries".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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