Spain raises terror alert after France and Belgium attacks

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Spain raises terror alert after France and Belgium attacks
A police officer stands by the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona on August 20, 2017, before a mass to commemorate victims of two devastating terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT / AFP)

Spain’s Interior Ministry has raised the country’s terror alert following the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris and amid the escalating war between Israel and Hamas. These are the measures that will be introduced.


Spain’s Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska has ordered that Spain’s terror threat level be increased to four out of five with “complementary measures”, in the wake of the murder of two Swedish football fans in Brussels and a French school teacher killed by IS in Paris. 

In fact, Spain has been on the second highest anti-terrorist level since 2015, which involves additional surveillance and special police units being deployed.


But on Tuesday October 17th 2023 additional measures will be implemented. 

These will involve extra security at ten foreign embassies and diplomatic representations on Spanish soil, those of Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, France, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

There will also be a greater police presence in the street at events, especially those of a religious nature. 

People living in or visiting Spain’s main cities can expect to see more security forces at museums, airports, sports stadiums, public buildings and transport hubs than usual.

More than 700 police will be deployed to Valencia on Wednesday for a basketball match between the local team and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

"We have put in place a total operation where more than 700 national police will be working undercover and in uniform," said the Delegate for Valencia Pilar Bernabé at a press conference about the "high-risk" match where attendees will undergo "more exhaustive security checks".

One of the reasons Spain and other countries have bolstered their security measures is that former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal made a speech recently in which he called for a “Global Day of Jihad” on October 13th, a struggle or fight against the enemies of Islam.

Spanish authorities are currently looking to make amends with Israel after the Israeli Embassy in Madrid accused “certain members” of the Spanish government of “aligning with terrorism”. 

READ MORE: Israeli Embassy accuses Spanish government of 'aligning with terrorism'

The country’s foreign minister strongly denied the claims initially, but has since said the Spanish government will “work” with Israel to avoid a diplomatic spat.

According to several Jewish policy sources, there are around 45,000 people of Jewish origin living in Spain, even though the temporary offer of Spanish citizenship to the descendants of the Sephardic Jews kicked out of Spain in 1492 resulted in 65,000 becoming Spanish nationals. 

Spain’s Interior Ministry already ordered extra security measures at synagogues and Jewish schools in Spain on October 13th.

READ ALSO: How war in Israel could affect Spain

On Wednesday October 18th, a Jewish school in central Rome was evacuated after a bomb scare

Twelve French airports were also evacuated due to bomb alerts, the French civil aviation authority has confirmed.


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