Why Spain is a fertile ground for terrorists

Barcelona van assault is a result of the enduring jihadi networks in the region

The family of the missing man who police believe may have killed 13 people by driving a van into pedestrians in central Barcelona on Thursday have spoken out, blaming his radicalisation on a local imam. Video: Reuters

Last week’s terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils were predictable – Spanish security and intelligence officials had recently warned of the likelihood of such an attack. A small but resilient extremist element exists within Spain’s large North African diaspora.

Barcelona is the Spanish province with the highest levels of violent Islamist radicalisation. And the country is dangerously exposed to the increasing presence of Islamic State in North Africa.

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