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Cablegate: Spain: 2002 Annual Terrorism Report

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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