Spain 'relieved' by Bin Laden death, remains vigilant

2nd May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain, which suffered Europe's worst Islamic terror attack when four trains were bombed in 2004, is "relieved" that Osama bin Laden is dead but must not lower its guard against terrorism, Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Monday.

"We feel relieved. But this is not the end. We can't lower our guard," he told a news conference called to discuss the killing of the Al-Qaeda leader by US forces in a military operation in Pakistan.

Spain suffered its worst terror attack on March 11, 2004 when bombs exploded on packed commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding 1,841 others in a strike by a local cell of Islamic extremists carried out in the name of Al-Qaeda.

Madrid will keep its terror alert level at "two" on a four-point scale in the wake of Bin Laden's death but may adopt extra security measures, Rubalcaba said.

"We can't rule out reprisals although from an operational point of view, for Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden's death is a very strong blow," he said.

Rubalcaba said he will meet with Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez and Defence Minister Carme Chacon on Tuesday to discuss what extra security measures could be taken.

Earlier on Monday CIA director Leon Panetta warned that terrorist groups "almost certainly" will try to avenge Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

© 2011 AFP

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