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We must fight ‘terrorist barbarism,’ Spain tells foreign ministers

By Alexandra Di Stefano Pironti 13/4/2015
Mariano Rajoy:  ‘a shared commitment between both shores of the Mediterranean will allow us to defeat terrorist barbarism.’ AFP file photo.
Mariano Rajoy: ‘a shared commitment between both shores of the Mediterranean will allow us to defeat terrorist barbarism.’ AFP file photo.

BARCELONA, Spain – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Monday that “jihadi terrorism is a direct threat” to European and other countries, opening a key regional meeting in Barcelona to discuss the fight against terrorism and other issues.

Twenty-nine foreign ministers from the European Union, North Africa and the Middle East are attending the one-day meeting, hosted by Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo and attended by EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini.

“Some people don´t understand that jihadi terrorism is a direct threat for the security of our countries and our citizens and constitutes the main threat nowadays,” Rajoy said in opening remarks. 

“Nobody should fall in the gross deception that jihadism represents Islam... or the fallacy which says that there is an Islamic war against the West,” he added, emphasizing that the Islamic world “is as much a victim of the terrorist scourge as any other (country).”

"I am convinced that a shared commitment between both shores of the Mediterranean will allow us to defeat terrorist barbarism," he said.

Rajoy urged measures to fight radicalization, stop foreign jihadists from going to fight in Iraq or Syria and to clamp down on financing for militant groups.

The meeting comes only days after 11 people were arrested in Barcelona and surrounding cities on suspicions of planning terrorist attacks in the country.

The suspects were arrested Wednesday, and authorities said they had been scouting out places for potential terrorist attacks, such as the Catalan Parliament, two police stations, a Jewish bookshop and a hotel.

Spanish authorities revealed that the network was planning to kidnap a person in Spain, dress him in the same orange jump suits used by ISIS for victims about to be killed, record an interrogation and slit his throat before a camera. 

In the past several months Spain also has broken up a number of ISIS recruiting cells, some especially targeting women.  Authorities in Spain say that some 100 Spanish citizens are fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Mogherini noted in her remarks that the situation in Syria and Libya obliges greater cooperation among Mediterranean countries to fight problems such as terrorism and illegal immigration.

The war in Syria and the growing poverty in sub-Saharan Africa have increased the number of illegal immigrants trying to cross to Europe.

Libya and Syria were not invited to the meeting in Barcelona due to their internal issues.

Meanwhile, the French newspaper Le Figaro on Monday quoted EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jouriva as saying that the number of European citizens fighting with jihadist groups in Syria could exceed 6,000.

She said the true number was likely to be far higher due to the difficulty of tracking foreign fighters in the conflict.


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Isis deserve credit as true followers of Islam | 13/4/2015
Bullshit politically correct statement "Isis not islam bla bla blah". Isis are representing the purest form of islam. At least they are not hypocritical and they follow their beliefs and holy book to a very good degree, you got to give them credit for that.
The Free Observer | 13/4/2015
Islam is based on Jihadism.The word "Islam" in Arabic actually means:Peace with those who surrender. Beheadings,raping and conquest are the core teachings of the Muslim prophet Mohamed.The Spanish PM is trying to change the truth in order to please his Arab friends of the oil-monarchies.We are well aware of such intricacies.If they were sincere,those FM gathered in Barcelona should go and hold their meeting in Erbil,the Kurdish capital,and rush to help the brave Kurds who are defending the civilization in face of the Islamist savagery. Do something for the sake of humanity before it is too late.
André | 14/4/2015
Forgiveness of enemies that surrender, not attacking others except to defend those aggressed, and respecting freedom of religious conscience of others are core elements of the Quran. Daesh/ISIS/IS is grossly violating all of these principles. Thus they are false muslims.
Adstar | 14/4/2015
He is delusional if he thinks jihadisim does not represent islam. The jihadists are following muhammed to the letter in doing their killings and terror.. This is just more politically correct propoganda from the brain washing elites of Europe..
ilia | 14/4/2015
Halla Halla! Those who so arrogantly insist that Islam is about war, killing and terror are not any different from Isis. Why don't you educate yourself and read about Islam from a Islamic source, as one should, and not a biased, islamophobic source. You wouldn't ask a farmer how to fix a computer, would you? As a Kurdish Muslim, I am ashamed of my fellow people's ignorance about true Islam. All I can do and will do is pray that God will have mercy on us all, help us get rid of Isis and keep us safe from the evil of greedy and ignorant men.

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