Authorities in Spain are warning people to be on the lookout for anyone acting suspiciously who might be of Arabic appearance, carry a video camera, and brandish lots of cash in tourist areas. It’s part of a new counter-terrorism strategy.
According to Spanish daily 20 Minutos, the police will be examining passports to check travel histories. People on the internet have started to wake up to the new reality.
The pilot program is only working in the Andalusia region but the new regulations are expected to be introduced in other areas, with priority given to those with large Arab populations, like Catalonia and the Madrid area. The North African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta are also at the top of the list.
Travelers to and from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Saudi Arabia will all face extensive checks, while particular attention will be given to Algerian arrivals – a known North-African terrorist threat, as far as the Spanish are concerned.
Individuals carrying more than €1,000 ($1,200) in cash will be under greater suspicion as possible couriers. The dead French terrorist Amedy Coulibaly’s girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene was believed by police to have been a money courier.
The new measures don’t end there. Police will be stopping Arabs with laptops for inspection. Those driving cars will receive particular attention. Authorities will also gather CCTV footage from popular tourist areas, along with airports and other travel hubs.