Spanish Interior Ministry was making security preparations for a terrorist attack, days before the blasts
The Spanish Ministry of Interior was on maximum alert, just days prior to the terrorist attack in Madrid. The ministry deployed over 200 agents, heavily-armed and equipped with riot gear. Officials stated that the reason for the security alert was to protect the nation's capitol against a possible terror attack from the Basque ETA terrorist group.
The security forces were convinced that the ETA terrorists were going to return to Madrid, in spite of their previous attempt to smuggle explosives into the capitol. Just two weeks ago, t he police in Spain reported they had foiled a big attack by the Basque separatist guerrillas, ETA. Police arrested two suspected members of ETA as they drove towards the capital, Madrid, in a pick up truck carrying eleven hundred pounds of explosives.
Today, more than 190 people were killed and some 1,247 injured in a series of bomb blasts, which ripped through three Madrid railway stations.
Two days before what has been called ‘the worst attack in Western Europe since World War II,' the riot police in Madrid began setting up checkpoints in order to find cars with explosives. They began patrolling commercial areas, train stations, airports, stadiums, large crowds and government buildings. The officers were also in charge of patrolling the so-called ‘hot neighborhoods,' in Madrid, where ETA terrorists have known to hide.
The police presence had become visible since last Monday, when an ‘immediate response security team' was deployed. The immediate response team also conducted night air surveillance, using helicopters equipped with night vision cameras.