U.S. Intel Hub to Counter Islamism In Spain: Cable

The U.S. Embassy in Madrid proposed setting up an intelligence hub in the northeastern region of Catalonia to counter a “major center of radical Islamist activity,” according to a U.S. cable obtained by WikiLeaks and published Saturday by the newspaper El Pais.

The cable, dated October 2, 2007, said U.S. and Spanish authorities had identified Catalonia as having a “large Muslim Population Susceptible to Jihadist Recruitment” following increased surveillance after the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people.

“Specifically, we propose that our Consulate General in Barcelona become the platform for a multi-agency, jointly-coordinated counterterrorism, anti-crime, and intelligence center,” said the cable, classified secret and apparently authored by then-Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre.

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