On March 11th, 2004, Spain lived the deadliest terrorist attack in its history. The mainstream media and political parties, accustomed to terrorism of ETA, thought at first that ETA was in fact behind the bombing.
However, after subsequent police investigations and judgments in the field of justice, the focus of attention ended up posing on Jihadism, an enemy ready to strike back after the invasion of Iraq to any country supporting the military deployment. And Spain was a strong candidate to suffer jihadist violence after the famous photo of the Azores…
It has been a decade since the attack, and the radical Islamists have become even more violent and extremist, if possible. On the other hand, the Spanish society is much more aware of the danger. Despite all this evidence, the news on the growth of jihadism in Spain do not acquire the importance that perhaps it should have.
For example, on January 5th an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant alleged terrorist was arrested in Málaga, a fact that has not attracted much interrest. This suspected terrorist is one of the so-called “returnees”, ie men who reside in Spain and are recruited to fight in the front lines where the Holy War is fought, then return with enough experience to act as a prepared separate cell. The cell of this alleged terrorist Mohamed Sadik lies in Spain, with connections in Morocco, Belgium, Turkey and Syria. According to recent research, Sadik has sent at least six groups of men, Spanish and Moroccan, from Spain to Syria. With Mohamed Sadik, ther are already 18 residents in Spain who have left to fight in Syria jihadist groups.
During the last year, on February 2013, Judge Javier Gómez Bermúdez sent to prison Echaabi Mohamed, 22, an alleged member of Al Qaeda arrested in Valencia. In his order, the judge considered Echaabi as a lone wolf, and sources of Interior accused him of plotting an attack against an Arab office-bearer in Spain.
Javier Gil, professor at UNED and expert on international terrorism, believes that even more returnees will be further seen acting in European countries. He also declares that this risk will exist as long as the jihadist terrorism does. Finally, all the experts hold a common thesis: though with more difficulty than ten years ago, jihadism could strike again in Spain.
While years ago we were wondering who was executed the indecent 11M bombing, certain media continued to maintain the hypothesis that ETA was responsible. Although, from the first days after the attack investigations pointed to jihadism, the media hid information about jihad and abounded in the “conspiracy theory”. Media as “Telemadrid”, “La Razón” and “ABC” insisted beyond reason to point to the ghost of ETA. Perhaps for this reason the news about jihad do not acquire the importance that they should have today.
Professor: Julio Diaz
Abc, Octubre 2014:
20 minutos, Octubre 2014:
Translator: David Munoz