MADRID – According to sources in the fight against terrorism, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior has decided to strengthen the anti-terror alert level 4, the second highest degree on a scale of 5.
They have ordered special supervision of synagogues, daycare centres and Jewish schools. Anti-terrorist units have already increased surveillance of Jewish communities across Spain since the beginning of this week, as a precaution against possible attacks following the massacre by the terrorist organisation Hamas in Israel. This has caused unpredictable consequences in Western countries. One of these possible consequences is that Jewish communities become targets of jihadist attacks.
The decision was communicated to counter-terrorism units early this week, and discreet but thorough surveillance has already begun across Spain. Guardia Civil and National Police units have intensified their duties due to the current risk situation.
The aim is to prevent radicals who share Hamas’ views from taking violent actions against Israelis on Spanish soil. Researchers also monitor online calls to prepare for possible attacks on Jewish communities.
Concerns have increased following recent statements by some Hamas leaders at the international level. Khaled Mashal, who led the terrorist group from 2014 to 2017, called on Muslims worldwide to take to the streets and protest against Israel and the United States, calling for a “global jihad”.
Spain has maintained a level 4 anti-terrorist alert since 2015, when a series of attacks began in Europe. Despite these measures, the attacks in Catalonia took place in 2017, killing 16 people and injuring more than one hundred and fifty.
A recent report on the evolution of hate crimes in Spain in 2022 showed a worrying 20% increase in hate crimes related to anti-Semitism. The Interior Ministry fears that Hamas’ attack could lead to a wave of anti-Semitism that could spread to other parts of the world, mainly Europe.