US embassy cable - 02MADRID4435

SPAIN: 2002 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

Identifier: 02MADRID4435
Wikileaks: View 02MADRID4435 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Madrid
Created: 2002-12-05 09:39:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PTER SP
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 050939Z DEC 02
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6498
INFO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 MADRID 004435 
 
S/CT FOR REAP 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER, SP 
SUBJECT: SPAIN: 2002 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT 
 
SPAIN MAINTAINED ITS STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE U.S. IN THE WAR 
ON TERROR THROUGHOUT 2002 AND IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY 
ADVOCATES WITHIN THE EU FOR ENHANCING MECHANISMS TO FIGHT 
TERRORISM. 
 
THE FOLLOWING IS THE 2002 TERRORISM REPORT SUBMISSION FOR 
SPAIN. 
 
A. GOS SUPPORT FOR GLOBAL ANTI/TERRORISM COALITION 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
1. ACTIONS AGAINST AL QAEDA OPERATIVES 
 
BUILDING ON ARRESTS MADE IN 2001, SPANISH LAW ENFORCEMENT 
MADE ADDITIONAL ARRESTS OF AL QAEDA ASSOCIATES DURING 2002. 
IN JANUARY, POLICE ARRESTED MOROCCAN CITIZEN NAJIB CHAIB 
MOHAMED IN A BARCELONA SUBURB.  CHAIB MOHAMED WAS ACCUSED OF 
BELONGING TO A TERRORIST CELL HEADED BY IMAD EDDIN BARAKAT 
YARKAS, ALSO KNOWN AS ABU DAHDAH, WHO WAS ARRESTED IN SPAIN 
IN NOVEMBER 2001.  SPANISH POLICE BELIEVE DAHDAH/YARKAS WAS 
AL QAEDA'S LEADING OPERATIVE AND RECRUITER IN SPAIN.  HE 
REMAINS IN CUSTODY.  CHAIB MOHAMED WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH 
FALSIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS AND CREDIT CARD FRAUD. 
 
ON APRIL 13, THE SPANISH CIVIL GUARD ARRESTED AHMED BRAHIM, 
AN ALGERIAN NATIONAL WITH SPANISH RESIDENCY, AND CHARGED HIM 
WITH "COLLABORATION WITH AN ARMED GROUP."  FOUR OTHER 
INDIVIDUALS HOLDING FRENCH PASSPORTS WERE WITH BRAHIM AT THE 
TIME AND WERE DETAINED BUT LATER RELEASED.  THE ARREST WAS 
PRECIPITATED BY THE SALE OF PROPERTY AND OTHER ACTIONS THAT 
APPEARED TO BE PREPARATIONS ON THE PART OF BRAHIM TO LEAVE 
SPAIN.  THE SPANISH CIVIL GUARD ACCUSED BRAHIM OF FINANCING 
SOME TERRORIST "SLEEPER" CELLS, OF ORGANIZING AL QAEDA'S 
INVESTMENTS IN SOME EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, AND OF SHELTERING 
ISLAMIC TERRORISTS.  BRAHIM REMAINS IN CUSTODY. 
 
ON APRIL 23, POLICE ARRESTED MOHAMMED GALEB KALAJE ZOUAYDI, 
ALIAS ABU THALHA, A NATURALIZED SPANISH CITIZEN OF SYRIAN 
DESCENT.  ZOUAYDI HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN ARRESTED IN NOVEMBER 
2001, ALONG WITH ABU DAHDAH (YARKAS), AND HAD BEEN SET FREE 
SHORTLY THEREAFTER FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE.  AN ANALYSIS OF 
DOCUMENTS SEIZED PURSUANT TO SEARCH WARRANTS EXECUTED AT 
BOTH HIS RESIDENCE AND AT HIS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY DURING 
THE 2001 ARREST PROMPTED HIS RE-ARREST AND SUPPORTED THE 
CHARGE THAT ZOUAYDI IS A PRINCIPAL FINANCIER FOR THE AL 
QAEDA NETWORK. 
 
ON JULY 7, 2002, THE SPANISH NATIONAL POLICE ARRESTED FOUR 
SYRIAN-BORN MALES (SPANISH RESIDENTS) WITH TIES TO THE AL 
QAEDA ORGANIZATION.  THIS OPERATION WAS DIRECTED BY SPANISH 
NATIONAL COURT JUDGE BALTASAR GARZON AND WAS A CONTINUATION 
OF THE OPERATION ("OPERATION DATIL") TO DISMANTLE THE AL 
QAEDA TERRORIST ORGANIZATION IN SPAIN.  ONE OF THE 
DETAINEES, GHASOUB AL-ABRASH, BELONGED TO A RADICAL 
ORGANIZATION KNOWN AS THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD.  AL-ABRASH 
(GHASOUB) HAD BEEN DETAINED EARLIER IN 2002 AS PART OF 
"OPERATION DATIL" BUT HAD BEEN RELEASED.  DURING THIS 
INITIAL ARREST, POLICE SEIZED SEVERAL VIDEOTAPES FROM HIM. 
IT WAS LATER REVEALED THAT DURING A TRIP AL ABRASH (GHASOUB) 
MADE TO THE U.S. IN 1997, HE MADE VIDEO RECORDINGS OF 
INSTALLATIONS, CONSTRUCTION SITES AND US LANDMARKS.  THE 
LANDMARKS INCLUDED THE WORLD TRADE CENTER.  THE STYLE AND 
DURATION OF THE TAPES INDICATED THEY WERE NOT RECORDED FOR 
TOURIST PURPOSES. 
 
IN SEPTEMBER 2002, JUDGE GARZON ORDERED THE RELEASE ON BAIL 
OF THE FOUR SYRIAN-BORN SUSPECTS.  BAIL RANGED FROM $60,000 
TO $150,000.  GARZON SAID HE HAD TO DO THIS BECAUSE HE 
LACKED EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO MEET THE HIGH SPANISH LEGAL 
STANDARD FOR HOLDING INDIVIDUALS IN CUSTODY PENDING TRIAL. 
GARZON SAID HE BELIEVED THE SUSPECTS HAD LINKS TO TERRORIST 
CELLS AND PLEDGED THAT THE INVESTIGATION INTO THEIR 
ACTIVITIES WOULD CONTINUE. 
 
2. DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS 
 
SPAIN HAS SUPPORTED THE RECONSTRUCTION OF AFGHANISTAN WITH 
HUMANITARIAN AND DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE.  THROUGH THE THIRD 
QUARTER OF 2002, SPAIN HAD PROVIDED OVER USD 60 MILLION IN 
ASSISTANCE FOR AGRICULTURAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, HUMANITARIAN, 
TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE, AND OTHER PROGRAMS.  IN ADDITION, 
THE SPANISH COUNCIL OF MINISTERS APPROVED IN NOVEMBER A NON- 
REIMBURSABLE CREDIT LINE OF USD 12 MILLION TO AFGHANISTAN 
FOR RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS.   SPAIN HAS PROVIDED SIGNIFICANT 
MATERIAL SUPPORT TO OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (SEE SECTION 
F.) 
 
3. BLOCKING OF TERRORIST ASSETS 
 
SPAIN HAS COOPERATED WITH THE U.S. IN BLOCKING TERRORIST- 
FINANCED ASSETS, AND THE GOS IS SEEKING GREATER AUTHORITY TO 
IMPROVE THAT COOPERATION.  THE GOVERNMENT SENT DRAFT 
LEGISLATION TO THE SPANISH PARLIAMENT IN MARCH 2002 THAT 
WOULD FACILITATE THE ADMINISTRATIVE FREEZING OF BANK 
ACCOUNTS OF TERRORIST GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS.  PASSAGE IS 
EXPECTED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2003.  SPAIN ALSO CHAIRS 
WITH THE U.S. THE FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE (FATF) WORKING 
GROUP ON TERRORISM FINANCE. 
 
DURING 2002, THE EU INCLUDED THE NAMES OF 28 ETA MEMBERS 
SUBMITTED BY SPAIN TO ITS LISTS OF PERSONS/ORGANIZATIONS 
AGAINST WHOM MEASURES TO COMBAT TERRORISM FINANCING ARE TO 
BE TAKEN.  SPANISH LEADERS HAVE SAID THEY WOULD LIKELY MAKE 
A REQUEST TO INCLUDE THE POLITICAL PARTY BATASUNA AND ITS 
LEADERS (ETA'S POLITICAL WING) IN SUCH A LIST IF SPANISH 
COURTS DECLARE BATASUNA ILLEGAL.  IN THIS EVENT (WHICH COULD 
HAPPEN IN 2003), SPAIN WOULD ALSO LIKELY APPROACH THE US FOR 
SIMILAR LISTINGS. 
 
4. COUNTER-TERRORISM LAWS 
 
A NEW LAW REFORMING THE SPANISH NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE CENTER 
WENT INTO EFFECT IN MAY.  ONE OF THE GOALS OF THE LAW IS TO 
PROMOTE COOPERATION BETWEEN SPANISH INTELLIGENCE SERVICES 
AND THOSE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.  KEEPING TRACK OF ISLAMIST 
EXTREMIST CELLS IN SPAIN IS A HIGH PRIORITY OF THE SPANISH 
POLICE AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICES. 
 
A NEW "LAW OF POLITICAL PARTIES" WENT INTO EFFECT IN JUNE. 
THE LAW ESTABLISHES A JUDICIAL PROCESS TO DE-LEGALIZE 
POLITICAL PARTIES THAT PROVIDE CONCRETE SUPPORT TO TERRORIST 
GROUPS. 
 
IN OCTOBER, THE GOVERNING POPULAR PARTY AND THE MAIN 
OPPOSITION SOCIALIST PARTY AGREED TO SUPPORT JOINTLY A DRAFT 
LAW TO INCREASE SECURITY FOR POLITICIANS IN THE BASQUE 
REGION WHO ARE THREATENED WITH ASSASSINATION.  THE LAW WOULD 
INCREASE FUNDING TO PROVIDE MORE BODYGUARDS AND OTHER 
PROTECTION FOR LOCAL POLITICIANS.  THE DRAFT LAW IS ON A 
FAST TRACK; THE PARLIAMENT MAY PASS IT IN LATE DECEMBER 
2002. 
 
5.  IN MAY, SPAIN RATIFIED THE UN CONVENTION ON SUPPRESSION 
OF TERRORIST FINANCING.  SPAIN HAS NOW RATIFIED ALL 12 OF 
THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTIONS ON TERRORISM. 
 
B. RESPONSE OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM 
----------------------------------- 
 
1. ON AUGUST 26, JUDGE GARZON ISSUED AN ORDER CALLING FOR 
THE IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION OF BATASUNA'S (ETA POLITICAL WING) 
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ACTIVITIES FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS.  THE 
SUSPENSION COULD BE EXTENDED TO A TOTAL OF FIVE YEARS.  THE 
ORDER INCLUDED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE CLOSING OF ALL 
BATASUNA OFFICES AND THE FREEZING OF ANY BATASUNA FINANCIAL 
ASSETS.  LOCAL, REGIONAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS (AS WELL AS 
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT) ARE PROHIBITED FROM SUBSIDIZING 
BATASUNA.  THE ORDER ALSO PROHIBITS ANY PRIVATE DONATIONS TO 
BATASUNA. 
 
2. AS OF NOVEMBER, SPANISH POLICE HAD ARRESTED 120 PERSONS 
FOR ASSOCIATION WITH OR MEMBERSHIP IN ETA, AND DISMANTLED 13 
ETA "CELLS." 
 
3. ON NOVEMBER 21, JUDGE GARZON ISSUED AN ORDER ACCUSING 22 
BATASUNA MEMBERS OF BELONGING TO ETA.  THIS ORDER EXPANDED 
ON THE ONE GARZON ISSUED AUGUST 26 (FIRST PARAGRAPH IN THIS 
SECTION).  OUT OF THE 22 BATASUNA LEADERS, SIX ARE MEMBERS 
OF THE BASQUE REGIONAL PARLIAMENT. 
 
4. IN OCTOBER, THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ASKED THE 
NATIONAL COURT TO ISSUE AN ORDER SUSPENDING THE ACTIVITIES 
OF THE RECONSTRUCTED COMMUNIST PARTY OF SPAIN, WHICH IS 
CONSIDERED TO BE THE POLITICAL ARM OF THE TERRORIST 
ORGANIZATION GRAPO.  IN ADDITION TO THIS, DURING 2002, 
TWENTY-TWO MEMBERS OF GRAPO WERE ARRESTED, EIGHT OF THEM IN 
PARIS AND THE REST IN SPAIN (VITORIA, MADRID AND 
VALLADOLID).   AS OF NOVEMBER, GRAPO HAD NOT CONDUCTED ANY 
TERRORIST ACTS IN SPAIN IN 2002. 
 
C. EXTRADITION OF TERRORISTS 
---------------------------- 
 
SINCE THE SIGNING IN OCTOBER 2001 OF A BILATERAL AGREEMENT 
BETWEEN FRANCE AND SPAIN FOR TEMPORARY DELIVERY OF SUSPECTED 
TERRORISTS IMPRISONED IN FRANCE TO STAND TRIAL IN SPAIN, 
FRANCE HAS TRANSFERRED PRISONERS UNDER THE AGREEMENT THREE 
TIMES.  IN ADDITION TO THESE TEMPORARY DELIVERIES, FRANCE 
HAS EXTRADITED TO SPAIN FOUR ETA MEMBERS AND HAS EXPELLED 
ONE. 
 
SPAIN HAS BEEN A STRONG PROPONENT WITHIN THE EU OF THE 
EUROPEAN WIDE ARREST AND DETENTION ORDER (THE "EURO-ORDER"), 
WHICH IT HOPES TO APPLY TO TERRORISTS ONCE THE MEASURE GOES 
INTO FORCE IN THE EU. (SEE SECTION F). 
 
D. IMPEDIMENTS TO EXTRADITION 
----------------------------- 
 
SPAIN HAS ALSO BEEN A STRONG PROPONENT WITHIN THE EU OF AN 
EU-WIDE EXTRADITION AGREEMENT WITH THE U.S.  HOWEVER, SPAIN 
SUPPORTS THE EU CONSENSUS OF OPPOSING EXTRADITION TO THE 
U.S. IF A PRISONER WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE DEATH PENALTY.  A 
U.S. REQUEST FOR EXTRADITION OF TERRORIST SUSPECTS TO 
MILITARY TRIBUNALS WOULD ALSO POSE PROBLEMS FOR THE SPANISH 
JUDICIARY.  IN PRACTICE, EXTRADITION TO THE US IS POSSIBLE 
ONCE SPANISH JUDICIAL CONCERNS REGARDING APPLICATION OF THE 
DEATH PENALTY ARE RESOLVED (SPAIN WOULD INSIST ON ADVANCE 
AGREEMENT THAT THE DEATH PENALTY NOT BE APPLIED TO PERSONS 
EXTRADITED TO THE U.S.) 
 
E. OTHER HOST RESPONSES 
----------------------- 
 
SPANISH GOVERNMENT PUBLIC STATEMENTS ON THE WAR ON TERRORISM 
HAVE BEEN VOCAL AND STRONGLY SUPPORTIVE, NOT ONLY IN THE 
WAKE OF 9-11 AND AFGHANISTAN, BUT DURING SUBSEQUENT 
TERRORIST ATTACKS (I.E. BALI, MOSCOW, KENYA). 
 
F. MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS UNDERTAKEN IN 2002 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
ON OCTOBER 25, THE GOS SENT TO PARLIAMENT FOR RATIFICATION 
THE DRAFT LAW OF THE EUROPEAN WARRANT OF ARREST (EURO- 
ORDER).  SPAIN IS ONE OF SEVEN EU COUNTRIES TO HAVE MADE A 
COMMITMENT TO START APPLYING THE LAW ONE YEAR EARLY, DURING 
THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2003, INSTEAD OF JANUARY 2004. 
 
IN MARCH, THE SPANISH COUNCIL OF MINISTERS APPROVED THE 
SIGNING OF THE "EUROJUST" AGREEMENT ON JUDICIAL COOPERATION 
AMONG EU COUNTRIES.  IN JUNE, THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS 
APPOINTED THE TWO MEMBERS WHO WILL REPRESENT SPAIN IN 
EUROJUST. 
 
IN MAY, THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS APPROVED A DRAFT LAW THAT 
CALLED FOR CREATION OF JOINT INVESTIGATION TEAMS TO CARRY 
OUT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS IN ANY OR ALL OF THE MEMBER 
STATES.  THE DRAFT LAW WAS APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 
FRAMEWORK DECISION APPROVED BY THE COUNCIL OF EU JUSTICE AND 
HOME AFFAIRS MINISTERS IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2001. 
 
ON OCTOBER 16, SPANISH MINISTER OF INTERIOR ANGEL ACEBES 
ANNOUNCED THAT SPAIN, ALONG WITH GREECE, ITALY AND THE UK, 
WOULD START A JOINT BORDER CONTROL AND SEAPORT CONTROL 
OPERATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN TO FIGHT TERRORISM AND 
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.   THE FIRST OPERATION IS SUPPOSED TO 
TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE END OF 2002. 
 
WITH RESPECT TO THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, FROM THE BEGINNING, 
SPAIN HAS PROVIDED LOGISTICAL SUPPORT TO THE INTERNATIONAL 
COALITION AUTHORIZING THE USE OF SPANISH MILITARY BASES AT 
ROTA AND MORON.  WITHIN OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, SPAIN 
HAS PARTICIPATED IN SEVERAL HUMANITARIAN TRANSPORT MISSIONS; 
IT CONTRIBUTED THREE C-130 HERCULES AND 70 SOLDIERS TO THE 
AIRBORNE DETACHMENT GEMINIS.  THIS IS IN ADDITION TO SPAIN 
HAVING AUTHORIZED THE PARTICIPATION OF SIX HELICOPTERS AND 
ABOUT 150 SOLDIERS IN OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF THE 
INTERNATIONAL COALITION.  FROM JANUARY TO OCTOBER 2002, A 
SPANISH MEDICAL DETACHMENT WAS PRESENT IN THE BAGRAM AIR 
BASE (NEAR KABUL).  SPAIN IS HEADING A NAVAL TASK FORCE IN 
THE HORN OF AFRICA TO DETECT AND DETER TERRORIST MOVEMENTS 
IN THAT AREA.  SPAIN HAS ALSO PARTICIPATED IN THE ACTIVE 
ENDEAVOR AND COHERENT BEHAVIOR OPERATIONS, AND FOUR SPANISH 
MILITARY ARE IN THE U.S. AS PART OF THE NATO'S AWACS STAFF. 
SPAIN'S CURRENT CONTRIBUTION TO THE INTERNATIONAL SECURITY 
ASSISTANCE FORCE (ISAF) IS ABOUT 300 SOLDIERS. 
 
G. AND H. NONE 
 
I. CHANGE IN ATTITUDE TOWARD TERRORISM 
--------------------------------------- 
 
SPAIN HAS SUFFERED FROM ETA AND OTHER TERRORIST GROUPS FOR 
OVER 30 YEARS.  SPAIN WELCOMES THE INCREASED INTERNATIONAL 
COOPERATION IN COMBATING TERRORISM THAT HAS EMERGED SINCE 9- 
11.  SPAIN BELIEVES THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM HAS 
TRANSLATED INTO INCREASED POLICE, JUDICIAL AND INTERNATIONAL 
POLITICAL PRESSURE ON ETA THAT IS TAKING A DEFINITE TOLL ON 
ETA'S OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS.  ETA ATTACKS AND KILLINGS 
ARE DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY THUS FAR IN 2002. 
 
J. U.S. COUNTER-TERRORISM EFFORTS WITH THE HOST GOVERNMENT 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT MET SEPTEMBER 14 WITH THE SPANISH 
INTERIOR AND JUSTICE MINISTERS IN COPENHAGEN.  THE ATTORNEY 
GENERAL REITERATED THE U.S. COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT SPAIN IN 
ITS FIGHT AGAINST ETA TERRORISM. 
 
IN FEBRUARY, THE UNITED STATES BLOCKED THE ASSETS OF 21 
PERSONS LINKED TO ETA.  IN JUNE, THE U.S. BLOCKED THE ASSETS 
OF SEVEN MORE INDIVIDUALS WITH TIES TO ETA AND THE ETA- 
LINKED ORGANIZATION, ASKATASUNA.  ANOTHER FOUR PERSONS 
LINKED TO ETA WERE INCLUDED ON THE U.S. TERRORIST LIST IN 
NOVEMBER. 
 
THE SPANISH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR SECURITY MET IN FEBRUARY 
WITH SENIOR U.S. OFFICIALS.  DURING THAT MEETING HE PUBLICLY 
RESTATED SPAIN'S INTENTION TO HELP THE U.S. IN ITS FIGHT 
AGAINST ISLAMIST EXTREMIST TERRORISM. 
 
DURING 2002, DOJ AND FBI EXPERTS WORKED WITH THE SPANISH 
NATIONAL COURT TO ASSIST IN THE ANALYSIS OF DOCUMENTS 
UNCOVERED IN INVESTIGATIONS OF AL QAEDA SUSPECTS OPERATING 
IN SPAIN. 
 
K. AND L.  NO INFORMATION TO REPORT. 
 
ARGYROS 

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