More ideology that intelligence in the antiterrorist strategy of the PP Carlos Enrique Bayo

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

22 August 2017

They had already demonstrated it to us after the 11-M Madrid killings (2004), but they do not seem to have escaped. The PP strategists have once again exhibited their prejudices and pride, prioritizing their political objectives over the security of citizens. Meanwhile they belched out grandiloquent diatribes that had nothing to do with the truth. Indeed, the validity of political and executive management is only legitimized through its results. Let’s take a look.

On two occasions, the Minister of the Interior, Juan Ignacio Zoido, has already come out to make sterile calls to “unity” and “absolute cooperation” in the fight against terrorism, only days after his own acts contracted him. Immediately after the confirmation that the Rambla attacks had been a terrorist attack, the Executive’s leadership -with Mariano Rajoy and Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría at the head- moved to Barcelona … but not to get together with the crisis cabinet created there by the Generalitat, but rather to form his own crisis cabinet and thus claim the political command of police operations against the killer commando. So clear was that intention, that neither that night nor the next morning were any representatives of the Catalan Government invited to those meetings, not even the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan Police) who were hot on the tracks of the jihadists. As can be seen in the picture heading this article.

But this executive action showing contempt for the authorities of Catalonia and the boycott of the Mossos was not at all new. During the mandate of Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz (2011-2016) there was also a government policy of open retaliation against the Generalitat for its sovereignty orientation. It was an attitude that continued with the arrival of Zoido at Interior and that was made more than clear in the weeks before the attack, when the minister refused to allow the Mossos to incorporate 500 new agents, despite the fact that their officers were denouncing they were not able to “guarantee security” because the lack of effective means was preventing them from carrying out the number of hours of service required for the fight against terrorism. The spokesman for the main Catalan police union (SAP-Fepol), Imma Viudes, told Público that they were “using it as a political weapon” … and she was right.

So, three days after the bloody attack on la Rambla, Zoido finally appeared before the press to deny the whole reality – obviating, of course, that he himself had argued in the Congress “the set replacement rate” to leave at only 50 the number of new members to incorporate – and claim that the coordination and collaboration of the Executive with the Generalitat in the fight against terrorism was “total and absolute.” In fact the minister made a speech, after the meeting of the Anti-Terrorist Pact, in which he intended to deny previous information from Publico, without providing any argument or evidence to support his speech. Quite the contrary: it was precisely in that session of the Anti-jihadist Pact, which for the first time ws attended by nationalist parties, where Zoido finally promised that the Mossos would have access to all the information from Europol … as of September.

That is to say, in the investigations still under way on the comando that had aimed to carry out killings with bomb vans- plans that were frustrated and replaced by more modest ones after the casual explosion of its arsenal in Alcanar (Tarragona)- the Mossos will continue without having direct access this month to the European early warning and information system of Europol (SIENA and SIRENE). Although they managed to contain the Cambrils attack, preventing them from transforming it into another massacre, and killed six of the terrorists, including the driver of the van that caused slaughter in the Rambles. And although several clues to follow up lead directly to Europe, as for xample the fact that Ripoll’s Imam and brain behind the attacks, Abdelbaki Es Satty, tried to settle in early 2016 in the most Islamist locality of Belgium, Vilvoorde, near Brussels, and that he also travelled to France and Morocco.

It is more than likely that Imam Es Satty contacted on those trips with jihadist groups that instructed him on the manufacture of bombs. Apparently, it was he who committed the error handling the explosives that led to the explosion of the Alcanar dump, since it was his body that was totally destroyed. But during all those years, in which the commando and plans were being set up to sow terror in Barcelona, ​​the Mossos lacked access to the Interpol police information network as decided by the Government of Rajoy, who overlooked once and again the repeated requests of the Generalitat and the Parliament of Catalonia itself for the Catalan police body to be able to consult the international databases on jihadists.

But the Mossos are not only disconnected from the international networks of terrorist information. They have also been denied access to that of the Center for Intelligence Against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO), created by Fernández Díaz in January 2015, by way of the merger of the two centers (CNCA and CICO) that coordinated the police tasks against those two cases. Moreover, police sources emphasize via Público that it has been precisely the director of CITCO, José Luis Olivera Serrano, who has designed this strategy to deny key information to the Mossos, including news from intelligence centers in other countries. Such as the warning from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States that Barcelona was a target of the Jihadists and, of course, its most vulnerable point was on the Rambles.

It was published that the CIA warned of it directly to the Mossos, but both the Generalitat and President Carles Puigdemont have completely denied it. It is clear that “the police have relations with other police officers and the intelligence agencies are related to other intelligence agencies,” explained Puigdemont to Ana Pastor in the interview on El Objetivo last Sunday. “A police force like the Mossos d’Esquadra would like to have a direct relationship with the CIA, but obviously that has not happened,” added the president.

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