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Spain: National Police Chief Addresses Anti-Terrorism Policies

(Sept. 29, 2016) The head of Spain’s National Police gave an address describing how Spain’s efforts to improve anti-terrorist cooperation among European Union Member States, and arguing against national border patrols within the European Union.  (Hugo Gutiérrez, El Director de la Policia Nacional Pide mas Cooperación Europea contra el Terrorismo, EL PAIS (Aug.1, 2016).) He argued that because access to real time information on terrorists’ activities is essential in the fight against international terrorism, in order to improve early detection efforts, databases from different countries, currently not shared, need to be accessed by all allied countries in order to succeed in fighting new forms of terrorism, and intelligence must be improved. (Id.)

The chief also observed that Spain’s geography creates immigration challenges, and therefore the government has signed a number of cooperation agreements with immigrants’ countries of origin of immigrants in an effort to stem human trafficking at the source. (Id.)  Spain’s cooperation with Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, and Niger has been critical, he stated, in reducing immigration waves from those countries and serves as an example of the importance of sharing intelligence.  (Id.)  According to the chief, the successful border management system and coordination among intelligence services have ensured that there is less Islamic radicalization in the border area with Africa in Southern Spain.  (Id.)