Spanish spies remain active in UK territory of Gibraltar

Gibraltar

Gibraltar

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The British Crown has ruled Gibraltar since the early 1700s, but Spain has never ceased to claim national rights over the territory. Today, la Cuestión de Gibraltar (the Gibraltar question) is as critical an issue in Spanish-British relations as it has been for over 300 years. A recent article in Gibraltar’s English-language Panorama news site reminds us that, even though the two countries are NATO and European Union allies, Spanish intelligence agents remain active in the territory. It is true that the Rock is frequented by agents of Spain’s Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI), who are mostly concerned with assessing economic and political life in the British possession. The article lacks sources, but its views are probably not far from the truth, considering Gibraltar’s immense geostrategic significance. It claims, among other things, that Gibraltar is among the CNI’s primary intelligence collection targets, along with Morocco and Afghanistan. Notably, the article makes no mention of the substantial British intelligence activity on the Rock. Some may remember Operation FLAVIUS, in which a Special Air Service team in Gibraltar shot dead three members of the Active Service Unit of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, who were allegedly planning to detonate a bomb there, in March of 1988.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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