Spanish National Security report warns of increased terrorist threat in EU

The European Union faces a ‘real and direct risk’ of increased ‘terrorist threats’ due to the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, warns an anti-terrorism report by Spain’s National Security Council (CSN), according to Euractiv.

According to the CSN report, which was formally approved on Tuesday, Israel’s war against the terrorist group Hamas poses a “real and direct risk” of an increase in the “terrorist threat, violent (Islamist) extremism, and the emergence of new movements promoting a radical and violent ideology”  in Spain and the rest of Europe, El País reported.

The CSN experts state in their report that the main threat to Europe’s security comes from the terrorist groups Daesh (Islamic State) and Al Qaeda.

Spain’s security forces carried out between 2019 and 2023 “more than 110 operations related to terrorist activities,” and 95 % of these operations were linked to jihadist terrorism, the report revealed.

On 11 March, Spain commemorated the 20th anniversary of the jihadist attacks on four commuter trains in the Madrid region, which killed 193 people and injured nearly 2,000.

According to the report, another threat to the security of Spain and the rest of Europe is the war in Ukraine.

The protracted conflict, which entered its second year in February, is another “potential catalyst for terrorism” because it “has led to an increase in the circulation (in Europe) of arms and explosives, as well as the involvement in the war of volunteer fighters of other nationalities,” the report reads.

In addition, referring to the recent murder of a Russian defector in the south-eastern Spanish city of Alicante, the new CSN report — which will be valid for five years — warns of the intervention of possible “state actors (Russia)” to destabilise European security.

On Sunday, Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles (PSOE/S&D) sounded the alarm about the “real danger” of Spain and the rest of Europe being attacked by Russia.

The minister told La Vanguardia that Russian President Vladimir Putin poses “an enormous threat to the countries bordering (Russia), but also to the international community as a whole. Nowadays, a ballistic missile could very well reach Spain from Russia.”

“I would like to call the attention of Spanish society because sometimes I have the perception that we are not aware of the enormous danger that exists at the moment. And not only in Ukraine but also in Gaza and the Sahel, where I am very pessimistic about the situation,” she warned.