Wikileaks

Un topo evitó un nuevo 11M en Barcelona

Cable en el que EE UU señala las contradicciones entre los servicios de seguridad españoles

  • Una operación antiterrorista evitó un nuevo 11M en Barcelona y otras acciones en Alemania y Francia.
  • El embajador Aguirre considera las detenciones como "una victoria para España, para EE UU y los aliados europeos".
  • Resalta la descoordinación entre fuerzas de seguridad e Inteligencia y que Saura restara importancia al asunto.
ID:
138707
Etiquetas:
PTER, PGOV, PREL, SP
Fecha:
2008-01-25 14:47:00
RefID:
08MADRID73
Origen:
Embassy Madrid
Clasificación:
CONFIDENTIAL
Destino:
08MADRID54
08MADRID61
Encabezado:
VZCZCXRO1284
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0073/01 0251447
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251447Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4118
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0333
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0152
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 3250
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000073

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/24/2018
TAGS: PTER, PGOV, PREL, SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN/BARCELONA ARRESTS: SUSPECTED TERRORISTS
REPORTEDLY TARGETED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

REF: A. MADRID 54
B. MADRID 61

MADRID 00000073 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: DCM Hugo Llorens for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Spanish media reports and our Mission contacts
continue to reveal new information on the January 19 arrests
in Barcelona of 14 suspected Islamist extremist terrorists
(REFTEL A), and indicate that the terrorists were planning to
conduct suicide bombings on bus and subway lines located near
the heart of Barcelona's tourist areas. Post elements most
closely involved with Spanish authorities on this
investigation urge caution with regard to the Spanish media,
which has been full of significant inaccuracies. Since the
arrests, Post elements continue to keep Washington apprised
with authoritative reporting via appropriate channels. As
the investigation continues into the intentions of the
Barcelona terrorist cell, it appears clear that the
terrorists intended to attack the city's transportation
system, but it is not clear how many suicide operatives were
active, nor when the cell intended to strike. Spanish Judge
Ismael Moreno is the lead investigative magistrate on the
case and on January 23 ordered preventive detention for ten
of the 14 suspects, accusing them of having links to Islamic
terrorism. Eight of the ten stand accused of belonging to a
terrorist group and possessing explosives material, and the
other two were charged with membership in a terrorist group.
Two of the individuals originally arrested were released on
January 23 due to a lack of evidence, and another two were
previously released by the Spanish Civil Guard (CG). Our
contacts tell us that the four released do not appear to have
anything to do with the alleged terrorist cell and were
simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when the police
began their roundup of suspects. This has also been
supported in the local press by statements from family
members of some of the suspects.

2. (U) According to Judge Moreno's initial report released on
January 23, the alleged terrorist cell had chosen three of
its Pakistani members to conduct suicide attacks against
Barcelona's public transportation system last weekend
(January 18-20). However, Attorney General Conde-Pumpido
said on January 24 that there were in fact six would-be
bombers, and Interpol is reportedly looking for three suicide
terrorists in Germany and France who are allegedly linked to
the Barcelona cell. Also on January 24, Interior Minister
Rubalcaba was more circumspect as to when the terrorists were
set to strike, saying that the type and quantity of
explosives found thus far suggests that the group may have
still been in the planning stages. We can expect to see
continued conflicting reporting in the days to come as the
situation is still very fluid and Spanish authorities are
racing to ensure that the entire threat from this cell has
been disrupted.

3. (U) Spanish media reports that the following individuals
were remanded to prison by Judge Moreno on January 23 (names
as listed in Spanish):

- Imram Cheema
- Mohamed Shoaib
- Mehmooh Khalib (these first three are alleged to have been
the intended suicide bombers)
- Marrof Ahmed Mirza (alleged spiritual leader of the group)
- Mohammad Ayud Elahi Bibi (alleged organizational leader of
the group)
- Mohamed Tank
- Qadeer Malik
- Haffez Ahmed
- Roshan Jamal Khan
- Shaib Iqbal

The Spanish furnished us with the names of the suspects
shortly after the arrests and we sent back a corresponding
Visas Viper notice (REFTEL B).

//COMMENT//

4. (C) As we gather more information through press reports
and contact with Spanish law enforcement officials, it is
becoming clear that Spanish authorities disrupted an

MADRID 00000073 002.2 OF 002

organized terrorist cell with the intent to cause mass
casualties. These arrests are a victory for the Spanish CT
apparatus and a victory for the U.S. and our European allies
who are committed to the fight against international
terrorism. Whether or not the terrorists planned to launch
their attacks this past weekend is open to debate, but the
Spanish assessment, which we share at this point, is that an
attack was definitely coming. Spanish authorities therefore
did very well to act when they did to disrupt the cell's
planning. As it is not yet known if the entire operation was
thwarted by the Barcelona arrests, Spanish security forces
continue to interrogate the suspects in detention and follow
subsequent leads in cooperation with their international
counterparts.

5. (C) In the wake of the arrests, reports have surfaced in
the press and from our various Mission agencies that suggest
the overall effectiveness of this operation was hampered by
continued turf battles and rivalries between Spain's law
enforcement and security services. While we do not want to
engage in Monday-morning quarterbacking, we note that the
CNCA, Spain's NCTC equivalent founded precisely to eliminate
internal stovepiping, has been virtually sidelined in the
operation and its aftermath. Our understanding is that
cooperation among Spanish security services still leaves much
to be desired. Indeed, contradictory statements made by
Catalan regional Counselor of the Interior, Joan Saura, who
consistently downplayed the nature of the threat, indicates
how little information was passed to Catalan regional
authorities. Saura, whose portfolio includes regional
security, is expected to be called to explain his statements
in the regional parliament. The events of this past weekend
highlight yet again the Islamist extremist threat emanating
from Barcelona and the surrounding region, and argue for both
increased levels of U.S. cooperation with our European allies
in the fight against terror, and also continued intensified
efforts on the part of this Mission and the USG interagency
to engage with the Spanish government and impress upon them
the necessity of more streamlined cooperation and information
sharing in the fight against terrorism.
AGUIRRE;"