Spain on high alert amid ISIS threats as European leaders warn of impending conflict with Russia and return to “prewar era”

April 10, 2024 by No Comments

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior announced on Tuesday that it has activated all alert and response systems to prevent jihadist attacks during the Champions League quarterfinal matches scheduled to take place in Madrid on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to reports. On Tuesday, Real Madrid will take on Manchester City, while on Wednesday, Atlético Madrid will play against Borussia Dortmund. As the quarterfinals approach, threats have been made by the Islamic State terrorist network, which has threatened drone attacks on the stadiums, a reminder of the resurgence of the network after several deadly attacks earlier this year in places like Iran and Moscow. The ministry, led by Fernando Grand-Marlask, said the “State Security Forces and Bodies have all their early warning and protection systems activated, as well as their response systems ready” in response to preventing a terrorist attack, according to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. The publication reported that the response includes over 2,000 national police and civil guard agents, who will be keeping watch over the capital, as well as members of the local police.

Spain is not the only country on alert as the quarterfinals get ready to take place. On Wednesday, Paris St. Germain and Barcelona will face off in Paris, France. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told reporters on Tuesday that police had strengthened security for the match, as he was providing an update on security during this summer’s Olympics. “We have seen, among other things, a communication from the Islamic State that particularly targets stadiums. It is not new,” he said. British police also said they were aware of threats leading up to Tuesday night’s match between Bayern Munich and Arsenal in London, and had a robust policing plan in place. Reuters reported that the Islamic State was urging followers to recreate an attack on the Strade de France stadium back in November 2015, and in a post, the group posted an image of Paris St. Germain’s Parc des Princes stadium, according to Site Intelligence, which tracks communications between Islamic militants. Site Intelligence also reported that militants were urged in another post to use drones to attack stadiums if they cannot physically reach the location. “If they constrict and oppress on the ground, then strike them from the sky,” said the post, which featured a quadcopter flying over Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.