25 May 2004
MADRID – The number of specialised anti-terrorist police will triple in the next 18 months, the Interior Minister said Tuesday.
There will be 600 officers from the National Police and Guardia Civil, said José Antonio Alonso.
To make this role more attractive, these officers will be offered more cash.
Their salaries will be on a par with the elite Special Operations Group (GEO) which at the moment deals with terrorist emergencies.
Alonso also said the GEO was looking for Arab agents to join this specialist force in order to infiltrate Islamic terror groups.
Language ‘apprenticeships’ will be offered to officers so they can learn Arabic and other languages.
Alonso made the announcement at his first appearance before parliament’s Interior Commission, which discusses home affairs.
He said police aimed to recruit in areas where there were sizeable immigrant populations, like Madrid, Catalonia, Murcia, Navarra, La Rioja and Andalusia.
In rural areas and towns of less than 30,000 people, Alonso said the police would create special intelligence units to watch for links between ‘radicalism and terrorism’.
They also wanted to set up what Alonso called ‘regional antenna’ to provide intelligence on potential terrorist cells.
The government will also increase the number of translators, especially those who speak Arabic.
There is to be special links with the Moroccan intelligence forces and “other zones of interest”, said Alonso.
Specialised units will also be created to tackle cyber-terrorism’ and to track the financial backers linked to terror groups.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news