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Targetting Spain - another M11 bomb for another Election?
politics / elections |
Sunday January 20, 2008 21:12 by spoor
A certain hysteria has it certain sectors of Spanish & Catalan public opinion following the arrests of 14 suspected Islamist terrorists in the city of Barcelona between Friday night & Saturday morning. In an operation involving the Spanish secret service (the CNI) the Guardia Civil & local regional Catalan police (Mossos d'esquadra) co-ordinated raids made on a bakery, mosque & several flats in the Raval district of central Barcelona. Immediately news services both in the Spanish state & abroad cited further co-operation with amongst others the intelligence services of France & the UK.
The Spanish state will celebrate a general election on the 9th of March almost 4 years after the M11 massacre which was falsely attributed to ETA by the then right wing regime. Nobody wants to talk about bombs now - but we should all the same.
No-one really wants to contemplate the social & mass psychological effect a bomb attack by either Islamist terrorists "in the ambit of Al Qaeda" or by Basque seperatists "in the ambit of ETA" would have between now & election day. Yet the thought has to be considered. The raid the other night was quite an operation which I had the curious experience of witnessing just happening to neighbour one address & just happening to have been called to assist in a subtitle translation project around the corner from the main scene of action. The 14 arrested included 12 men of Pakistani origin and 2 of Indian nationality. One a forty year old baker has been resident in Barcelona for over 20 years. I've bought his bread & eaten his sweets. It is a cliché to speak of "closely knit communities" at such times, but sometimes clichés are indeed appropriate. Several others of the group have been identified in those rumours which quickly spread through migrant communities (& themajority of Barcelona's 30,000 registered Pakistani migrants live in the central city neighbourhood of the Raval) as belonging to a "traditionalist sect" of conservative Islam. Indeed one of the arrested is an Imam who only recently arrived to take up an appointment of "religious instruction" & spoke at the largest city mosque as well leading prayers in another "more discreet" private flat.
He was pretty obvious to the point of looking silly & attracting the possible suspicion of being a CIA agent due to his Bin Laden clothes, height, scarf & curious habit of standing on the corner speaking English with an American accent to young Pakistani men telling them " to take action ".
Yet the intelligence services of Spain & Europe assure the public that the group meant more than an attempt to revitalise a traditional Islamic way of life. Timers, some ingredients of explosives which were used in July 7th (but not aborted July 21) attacks in London & sundry other stuff were found in addresses searched. The first statement by the Spanish minister for the Interior on Saturday morning fell short of suggesting a target or timeline for the attack the group are suspected of planning in meticulous detail, though he did admit the rough figure of 300 arrests for "Islamist extremism" since 2004. He's also clocked up an average of 5 ETA related arrests a month since the Barajas Madrid airport bombing of 2005. But I digress..,
At present the migrant community of Barcelona feels insecure, criminalised & the shocking revelations or suggestions this evening that the arrested group had intended to bomb a mosque or target linked in the general public's mind (or the muslim migrant public's mind) to Pakistan does little to take the paranoid edge of the shock which must surely accompany wall to wall TV Vox polls on the likelihood of a biological, chemical or nuclear attack on our local metro.
I may never forget the rôle I & others and the international network of indymedia played in the terrorist attack on Madrid of March 11th. & thus, I intend to use this thread from now till Election day to cover both the general election in the Spanish state & any perceived, real or disinformative threat by any terrorist element in whatever ambit to all "our wellbeing".
It might be worth adding that the other night most indications were that a full arrest list had not been made. You don't leave spoor in the chamber. But I feel quite confident that the muslim & particularly Pakinstani community are capable of ensuring and facilitating honest & sincere security measures which work to advance cohabitation in this multi-ethnic & multi-cultural city which as we all well know has on any one day literally dozens of Irish commercial travellers, students, senior citizen excursionists enjoying the offers of Ryanair & no less than 35 Irish bars. Sure the Irish are even squatting here now.
keep ye posted.
Meanwhile for the benefit of citizens of the Spanish state who maybe wondering which way they'll vote (or "not vote") on March 9th there's a special youtube channel dedicated to the propaganda shite they've started ramming down our throats. Rajoy of the PP has gone even further to the right by denying one of the last "conservative liberals" the mayor of Madrid a place on the electoral lists whilst Zapatero has chosen to play the "international statesmen" closing the first meeting of the UN & Turkish co-sponsered "Alliance of Civilisations" summit in Madrid. Needless to say their chit chat didn't touch on self-determination for Basques or Kurds.
link to coverage of the swoop from the BBC