Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Saturday, April 03, 2004
Spain warns embassies of al Qaeda threats
The Spanish government urged all its embassies in northern Africa and the Middle East to be "more careful" and step up security measures after its representative atEl Cairo, Egypt, received a letter of threat.
The Spanish government urged all its embassies in northern Africa and the Middle East to be "more careful" and step up security measures after its representative at El Cairo, Egypt, received a letter of threat.
This was informed Friday by Spanish State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ramon Gil Casares when confirming that El Cairo Embassy received on March 28 a letter signed by the organization Jatib Abu Hafs El Masri (the battalion of the Egyptian Abu Hafsel), a fundamentalist Islamic group tied to al Qaeda.
The letter threatened to use bomb-vehicles against Spanish interests in northern Africa and the Mediterranean if Spain did not withdraw its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan in "four complete weeks."
Gil Casares pointed out other embassies also received threats and said the Egyptian authorities took it "seriously" but "did notgive too much credibility," although the delegacies of the area were informed and ordered to step up security measures.
The Islamic organization that signed the letter holds the name of the old chief of al Qaeda's military operations, the organization which claimed responsibility for the March 11 Madrid bombings by sending a communique on the same day to the London-based Arab journal Al Qoods Al Arabi.