Barcelona - Vehicular Attack
Very brief post from us reference the attack in Barcelona yesterday, facts are still being gathered and we are taking a fair few calls / emails from those worried about the their safety in the region, Our thoughts are with the family's of the victims and of those that had their lives taken.
Until yesterday Spain had avoided a major terrorist incident for 13 years, but over the last few years there have been several warning signs that were a cause for concern and an indication of trouble to come.
We expressed concern after the Van attack in Nice that such an attack will be replicated on Spanish soil and back in June wrote about the use of vehicles and fake suicide vests, below are some of the target indicators leading to this attack.
The increase in arrests pertaining to ISIS or general Islamic terrorism.
The increase in Spanish Threat level
The increase in attacks using the same Modus Operandi in other world cities
The increase in tourism numbers in Spain.
Specific threats made by ISIS to Spain
The return of those that went to fight in Syria or Iraq
The migrant crisis.
The ease of proliferation of weapons in Spain.
It is worth noting, the actions of the Spanish Police and emergency services yesterday were brilliant, it would appear that the deaths of many more have been averted by their quick actions, additionally the Spanish Intelligent services and Police have done a great job over the last few years at preventing many attacks taking place, but it was impossible for them to be lucky forever
With all the funding in the world it's tough to stop something as simple as someone using a vehicle as a weapon, and now as vehicular terrorism is now a reality, we hope to see more inititives to combat this type of attack, perhaps some of the following:
Restriction of access to vehicles at areas of high footfall
Physical barriers, bollards - Hardly any along high density areas in Southern Spain -
(Mallorca has taken steps to install today 18th August 2017)
Campaign for the securing of vehicles
Project Griffin style briefings to business, hotels, tourist hot-spots.
Security staff at tourist hot-spots to be tested on their ability to respond to incidents, plans checked for med response, evacuation, drills completed etc.
Any country is hard pushed to stop all acts of terror, but by making some small changes we can certainly make it harder to perpetrate and by carrying out drills and practice in tourist venues we can improve chances of survival in the aftermath.