Rafael Perez Ruiz, Secretary of State for Security of the Ministry of the Interior, has stressed the importance of continuing to fight against terrorism: “Despite continuing to be immersed in the fight against Covid, we must not lower our guard on a priority phenomenon such as jihadism. The one that must be fought with or without a health crisis ”, he explained at the 8th Elcano Forum on Global Terrorism.
Pérez Ruiz has stated that jihadist violence “constitutes a complex and changing phenomenon, which seriously and directly affects society and the state as a whole ”, thus requiring“ coordinated and joint responses ”from different actors.
On the other hand, and regarding Spain’s position in the Sahel region, the epicenter and most worrying focus of Islamist extremism, the Secretary of State for Security has assured that jihadist-inspired international terrorism «has established itself as the main terrorist threat to the international community as a whole”.
Terrorism in Africa
Likewise, Pérez Ruiz has referred to the “Africa Plan” as a unique opportunity in our country to lead the “rapprochement of the European Union to the African continent”. A foreign policy strategy that seeks to “maximize” Spain’s contribution to the transformation of Africa into a continent “of opportunity”, far from terrorist barbarism.
Conrad Tribble, Minister Counselor of the US Embassy in Spain has affirmed that the Sahel crisis has to do with “state legitimacy.” Y has ensured that the Sahel is a “priority region” for both the US and Spain. In recent years, terrorist actions have multiplied in the area and the majority of these groups abided by the slogans of Al Qaeda and Daesh.
For his part, Colonel Jesus Díez Mayor, Chief of the Analysis Unit of the Department of Homeland Security has emphasized the increase in the number of victims of attacks terrorists, from 2,700 in 2017 to 5,000 in 2019, as well as the huge humanitarian crisis of more than 5 million people that jihadism has caused.
Díez Alcalde recalled the importance of the European and international operations carried out in the Sahel, such as “Operation Barkhane”, or “EUTM-Mali”, as well as the initiative of the “G5 (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) ‘, in a regional cooperation framework for development and security actions, which the UN applauded.
The presence of multitudes of terrorist groups that threaten peace and security has made the area is one of the most unstable on the continent. They are already present in Libya, and are trying to establish cells in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, which is why police cooperation and intelligence services at the international level play an important role in fighting the “scourge” of jihadism, as defended by the secretary of State of the Interior Ministry, who also assured that Spain already has “more resources and more capabilities” in the strategy to combat jihadism.