Spain Deploying 44,000 Officers to Guard Tourist Zones Amid Terrorism Fears

US State Dept. warns of jihadis plotting attacks

Image Credits: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images.

Spain is preparing to launch ‘Operation Summer,’ which will see over 44,000 officers deployed to busy tourist zones as jihadists vow attacks and Western governments warn travelers terrorism is likely on the Iberian peninsula.

Over 22,700 National Police officers and another 22,000 officers from the Civil Guard will supplement existing forces as millions of tourists flock to popular destinations around the country, sources at the Ministry of the Interior told Spanish media.

“The Secretary of State for Safety has issued instructions on the summer operation, which will be deployed in the communities of Andalusia, Asturias, Canarias, Cantabria, Valencia, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia and the Balearic Islands from July 1 to August 31, although in the Balearic Islands, it will continue until September 30,” La Voz de Galicia reports.

“In order to counteract possible attacks in tourist areas, the instruction foresees the adoption of special operational plans to neutralize possible threats.”

The rollout comes as reports indicate ISIS-linked jihadi group Al-Muntasir has issued at least three threats targeting Barcelona, including one that read, “Only death.”

Madrid has raised the national terror threat level to 4, only one below maximum.

The U.S. Department of State warns American travelers to “exercise increased caution in Spain due to terrorism.”

“Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Spain. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.”

The U.K. Foreign Office has issued a similar caution to its citizens, advising that jihadist attacks are “likely.”

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. The Spanish authorities take measures to protect visitors, but you should be vigilant and follow the instructions of the local authorities,” the government explains in a travel advisory.

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Dan Lyman: