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Cablegate: Spain/Ct: S/Ct Coordinator Dailey Discusses

DE RUEHMD #2023/01 2970758
P 240758Z OCT 07

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 MADRID 002023




E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/2017


MADRID 00002023 001.2 OF 005


1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 11.

2. (S/NF) SUMMARY. Counterterrorism Coordinator Ambassador
Dell Dailey led an interagency delegation to Madrid on
September 21 for meetings with Spanish security, law
enforcement, diplomatic and intelligence officials to discuss
the evolving threat from Al-Qaida to U.S. and European
interests and to explore ways to strengthen our already
excellent bilateral counterterrorism (CT) cooperation. Our
Spanish counterparts expressed appreciation for the
intelligence briefing provided by the NCTC representative and
said that the threat from terrorism--specifically emanating
from the Maghreb and Sahel regions of North
Africa--represents the most important priority for the
Spanish government. Spanish security and intelligence
services have increased their focus on North Africa in recent
years, and Deputy Interior Minister Camacho said he would
like to explore ways to include the U.S. in joint efforts
with Spain and its southern European allies aimed at stemming
the terrorist threat from that region. At a roundtable with
senior intelligence and security officials, our Spanish hosts
emphasized the close cooperation with USG counterparts, but
recognized that it was a challenge for Spanish services to
break down their own internal stovepipes. The delegation
also met with a small group of Spanish legislators to explain
the RSI concept and the need for close international
cooperation on CT issues. Ambassador Dailey acknowledged the
important role of legislators in the fight against terrorism,
and encouraged them to push for strong anti-terror
legislation that punishes recruitment, financing and document
forgery. Both sides agreed to continue a dialogue and
sharing of best practices. They also agreed the Embassy will
continue to serve as the liaison between Spanish CT officials
and S/CT. The visit ended with a television interview given
by Ambassador Dailey on the Spanish business and political
cable channel Intereconomia, during which he stressed that
bilateral CT cooperation was "very, very good." After
discussions between Ambassador Dailey, the Washington-based
interagency delegation, the Charge d'Affaires, and our
interagency Embassy team, we believe there are areas for
immediate follow up coming out of this visit to maintain the
momentum on US-Spain bilateral CT cooperation (see paragraph

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3. (S/NF) Ambassador Dailey's visit to Madrid is part of a
National Security Council strategy to brief key European
partners on the significant and emerging threats to our
mutual security interests and discuss ways to strengthen our
cooperation to thwart these threats. The delegations are led
by Ambassador Dailey and are also an important opportunity
for him to explain his role and mission as coordinator for
USG international CT policy, and propose areas for
strengthened CT cooperation. The delegation included Michael
Leiter, NCTC Principal Deputy Director; Marisa Lino, DHS
Assistant Secretary for the Office of International Affairs;
Arthur Cummings, FBI Deputy Assistant Director; Elizabeth
Farr, NSC Office Director; Jessie Liu, DOJ Counsel to the
Deputy Attorney General; and Marc Norman, S/CT Deputy
Director. The delegation began the day with a briefing from
the Embassy's Counterterrorism Working Group, where they
heard that Spanish government officials at the highest level
have made clear to us their desire to coordinate closely on
CT, which they broadly view as a shared threat. However,
bureaucratic obstacles still remain an impediment to improved
cooperation, and Spanish inter-service rivalries probably
will continue to hinder bilateral information sharing in the
near future.


4. (U) Ambassador Dailey met with congressmen from Spain's
leading parties, the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party),
and the PP (Popular Party), along with a member of the PNV

MADRID 00002023 002.2 OF 005

(Basque Nationalist Party). He explained the purpose of his
visit to Europe, emphasized our appreciation for existing
bilateral cooperation, and expressed a desire to explore
further ways to collaborate against terrorism. All three
legislators stressed the importance of bilateral CT
cooperation and pledged to do their part to encourage their
colleagues to provide continued support. Ambassador Dailey
explained the RSI concept and said that legislators were
extremely important in the fight against terrorism. He
encouraged them to push for strong anti-terror legislation
that punishes recruitment, financing and document forgery.


5. (S/NF) Ambassador Dailey, accompanied by the Charge and
DHS A/S Lino, paid an office call on Secretary of State for
Security Antonio Camacho (Deputy Interior Minister
equivalent). Camacho is a valued interlocutor and has told
us before that whatever policy differences that might exist
between us on other levels, the U.S. and Spain see eye-to-eye
in the area of counterterrorism. He said his government's
main CT concern was from Islamic extremism, despite the
nearly 40-year battle the GOS has waged with the Basque
terrorist group ETA. Camacho stressed his government's
concern over the threat emanating from North Africa,
specifically the Maghreb and Sahel regions, and described
steps Spain has taken to work with Morocco and Algeria to
improve their capabilities. Camacho said that in his view,
Morocco "gets it," but that the Algerian government still has
progress to make. Camacho also told Ambassador Daily about
joint efforts Spain is undertaking with France and Italy to
focus on the Southern Europe-North Africa corridor of
terrorist movement, recruiting, and facilitating. Ambassador
Dailey responded that the U.S. had expressed interest in the
past in joining some of these efforts and was willing to
serve as an observer or in any way we could be helpful.
Camacho said emphatically that he was interested in the
direct and active participation of the U.S. and would like to
examine possibilities for cooperation in the months to come,
focusing on the Sahel as an axis of terrorism, drug and human
trafficking, and illegal immigration. Ambassador Dailey
briefed Camacho on the U.S. Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism
Partnership involving entities of DHS, State, Justice and DOD.

6. (S/NF) Camacho told Dailey that just days earlier he had
signed with Ambassador Aguirre the information-sharing
protocol covering terrorist lookout information as envisioned
in Homeland Security Presidential Directive Six (HSPD-6). He
said the HSPD-6 "Madrid Model" should be just that, a tool to
be used by our countries and eventually with others as a
model for tracking and stopping the flow of individuals with
the intent to harm U.S. and Spanish interests. A/S Lino
broached the subject of DHS/CBP officers possibly assisting
Spanish airport authorities with document checks and other
passenger monitoring. Camacho seemed open to the idea, and
became even more interested when told that the U.S. had run
similar successful programs in Japan and the UK. Ambassador
Dailey ended the meeting by stressing the importance of
sharing CT best practices through exchanges between the
Embassy and the Spanish MFA, and extended on behalf of the
Danish government an invitation to attend a conference on
radicalization to be held later this year in Denmark.


7. (S/NF) The interagency delegation, accompanied by Mission
elements from POL, ORA, and Legatt, engaged in a substantive
roundtable discussion with senior Spanish intelligence and
security officials at Spain's NCTC equivalent, known as the
CNCA. CNCA Director Eugenio Pereiro chaired the meeting and
began the discussion by mentioning the importance of regular
communication between NCTC and the CNCA. Spain's CNCA has
been in existence for less then three years and was
established in the wake of the Madrid train bombings on March

MADRID 00002023 003.2 OF 005

11, 2004. Pereiro said Spain was well aware of its
precarious position between North Africa and the European
heartland and said it was therefore vital to combine
resources with the U.S. and explore further avenues for
bilateral cooperation. He quickly added that Spanish
intelligence and law enforcement agencies had yet to break
down their own internal stovepipes, and that would prove to
be every bit as challenging as improving information-sharing
with the U.S.

8. (S/NF) Pereiro fully understands the importance of
interagency cooperation, and he assembled for the roundtable
senior officials from Spain's National Police, Civil Guard,
and National Intelligence Center--Spanish agencies who rarely
meet among themselves. The U.S. delegation listened to all
sides and then made a plea for more information
sharing--especially early on in an investigation before a
U.S. nexus has been established--and pledged that we would do
what we could to ensure the same. The main conclusion from
the meeting was that we would continue to use the Embassy as
a focal point to drive closer cooperation and streamline
information flows.


9. (S/NF) The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the
delegation at the Palacio de Santa Cruz, where Director
General for Counterterrorism (A/S equivalent) Angel Lossada
agreed with our assessment that Al-Qaida in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM) is gaining strength in North Africa. He added
however that although AQIM might be gaining in logistical
strength and potential lethality, his ministry did not see
any swelling of public or political support. He said there
may be ways therefore of working with the Moroccan and
Algerian governments to further isolate the terrorist group
and drive a wedge between it and the local population.
Lossada said that terrorist groups such as these can only
offer "imaginary victories" through their terrorist acts and
that it is up to western governments to counter this
radicalization. A/S Lino raised U.S. concerns that the new
EU draft framework agreement for data protection
(specifically Articles 14 and 27) create new obstacles to
improved information sharing, and solicited the Spanish
government's views on the agreement. Lossada tasked his
staff to review the articles and look into the matter
further. Ambassador Dailey reviewed for Lossada the comments
made earlier in the day by Deputy Interior Minister Camacho
regarding a role for the U.S. to play with its Southern
European allies and Lossada also agreed this was a good idea.
Ambassador Dailey requested the Spanish provide a list of
best practices on preventing Muslim radicalization. He said
the U.S. was making the same request of several countries and
plans to assemble the responses (without reference to which
country provided them) and share them with nations concerned
with the subject.

10. (S/NF) Talk on further U.S.-Spain cooperation on the
terrorist threat from North Africa carried over to a working
lunch hosted by the Charge, whose guest list included MFA DG
Lossada and CNCA Director Pereiro, in addition to Joan
Mesquida, Director of the Unified Command of the National
Police and Civil Guard; Judge Javier Gomez-Bermudez,
Presiding Magistrate over the trials of the March 11, 2004
bombings (currently in deliberations); Miguel Valverde, Chief
of the Comisaria General de Informacion; and Susana Peri,
Sub-Secretary for Justice. The lunch was thoughtful and
reflective, and guests provided candid thoughts on ways that
two countries with different government and judicial systems
can better cooperate in countering the amorphous threat of
Islamic radical terrorism. Mesquida reiterated Spain's
commitment to effective CT cooperation with the U.S. Judge
Gomez-Bermudez provided rather pointed observations that
Al-Qaida cannot beat us if we have the patience to defeat it.
However, he posited that AQ had more patience than we in the
West, and that this will need to be a sustained global effort
over many generations. He warned against a "trashing of our

MADRID 00002023 004.2 OF 005

democratic system" in the fight against terrorism and said
that if we allow this to happen, then "the terrorists have
won." There was considerable discussion of Spain's
counterterrorism laws, and the advantages they offered
Spanish authorities (e.g. criminalizing membership in a
terrorist organization even without any overt act of support).


11. (S/NF) The U.S. delegation's meetings with senior
officials in Spain's security, law enforcement, diplomatic
and intelligence services highlighted the current strength of
our bilateral CT cooperation. However, as all of the
interlocutors noted, there is always room for improvement.
The Spanish would certainly welcome any additional
intelligence and law enforcement information on specific
security threats to the Iberian Peninsula. Ambassador Dailey
emphasized to his Spanish interlocutors the importance of
ensuring that all future cooperation efforts be run through
Embassy Madrid to build on the close working relationships we
have been able to establish. Counterterrorism is the highest
priority of this Mission, from the Ambassador on down, and we
will maintain close contact with Washington agencies to
coordinate future efforts. After discussions between the
Charge d'Affaires, Ambassador Dailey, and our interagency
team, we believe there are several areas for immediate follow
up that can come out of this visit. We would appreciate
feedback and guidance on our proposed suggestions for
maintaining momentum on US-Spain bilateral CT cooperation.

-- Southern Europe/North Africa. We would like to soon
follow up with the Spanish on concrete proposals for
cooperation on initiatives to counter the terror threat
emanating from North Africa. The Spanish indicated to
Ambassador Dailey a willingness to weigh in on our behalf
with their European allies, specifically France and Italy, to
see if we might gain a seat at the table (even if only as an
observer) to discuss regional strategies on North Africa. We
would be happy to take back to the Spanish any specific
proposals S/CT might envision.

-- HSPD-6 Protocol. After almost a year of negotiations and
fine-tuning the mechanics of the information-sharing
protocol, we cleared a major hurdle with the September 17
signing. However, implementation is the key to moving
forward and we hope that the U.S. Terrorist Screening Center
will use the 90-day implementation period to iron out any
final issues that might hinder the free flow of information
on known or suspected terrorists. We will work closely with
Spanish officials in the CNCA to make sure they make the best
use of the 90-day window. We stand ready to assist as needed
in bringing the two parties together.

-- Data sharing. There are significant concerns that the new
EU draft framework agreement for data protection
(specifically Articles 14 and 27) create new obstacles to
improved information sharing. The U.S. delegation solicited
the Spanish government's views on the agreement. If
Washington agencies can provide background on this issue
expressing specific concerns and issues for the future, Post
can follow up with the MFA.

-- Radicalization. The Spanish are worried that their Muslim
immigrant population is prone to radicalization and our
counterparts tell us that Spanish prisons have become hotbeds
of budding Jihadist activity. The Spanish appeared receptive
to the Danish invitation to attend a conference on
radicalization later this year, and we believe that they
would be equally receptive to any advice or guidance we could
provide from experiences integrating our own Muslim
populations to encourage the Spanish to think about this
problem in new ways. Post will coordinate with Embassy
Copenhagen to make sure that a formal invitation is extended
and ensure Spanish participation to the extent possible.

-- Offer of assistance at Spanish airports. DHS/CBP has
offered to assist Spanish airport authorities with document

MADRID 00002023 005.2 OF 005

checks and other passenger monitoring, and Ambassador Aguirre
raised this issue during September consultations in
Washington. With background on this program and specific
offers of assistance from DHS/CBP, Post can raise this issue
with the GOS at a higher level. We would accept a 90-day TDY
to start, but if successful, we would request a NSDD-38 and a
permanent position, not a succession of TDYers.

12. (U) S/CT cleared this cable.

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