Anti-terrorism alert to be reviewed in 3 or 4 days, says minister

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Jorge Fernández Díaz, Ministerio del Interior on Flickr
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THE anti-terrorist alert level in Spain, currently set at four out of a maximum of five, will be reviewed in three or four days’ time as long as no emergencies arise in the meantime, Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz has announced.
The alert regulations state that once level four is reached, as occurred in Spain on Friday June 26 following attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, frequent revision is needed to confirm whether the level needs to remain the same or change.
The level had been at three since attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, and was raised to ‘prevent, protect and investigate’ the possibility of attacks following Friday’s events.
When asked by Onda Cero radio station whether the government had received information on attacks planned in Spain, he replied that this year along 45 suspected terrorists have been arrested who were preparing to travel to Syria or Iraq with an aim to carry out attacks in the future.
“Sooner or later they would have attacked,” the minister stressed, stating that these future attacks were avoided by the arrests.
Since the March 11 2004 attacks in Madrid 568 suspected terrorists have been arrested in Spain.
Although there is no such thing as ‘zero risk’, the minister said it is the government’s job to minimize risks as much as possible by constantly working to combat terrorism.
“There is no need for alarm, but it would be dangerous to hide the truth just to avoid worrying the public,” Fernandez Diaz emphasized.
When asked whether Spain and other European countries should send more military presence overseas to fight Islamist terrorism, he replied that the problem needs to be fought with intelligence and pointed out that 300 Spanish troops are already stationed in Iraq training the local army.
On the subject of Libya, the minister said the international community will need to face the reality of the situation there sooner or later and possibly take a more decisive stance.

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