By John Ensor •
Published: 07 Dec 2023 • 15:38
National flags of US and Spain.
Credit: rafa jodar/Shutterstock.com
IT has emerged that recently, Spain had to take a decisive stand against espionage, but the country involved came as a surprise to many.
Events in September this year led to the unfolding of a spy saga involving the US and Spanish intelligence agencies, with the focus centred on Madrid.
The Spanish Government confirmed reports to El Español, that they had expelled two members of the US Embassy. This drastic action followed the detention of two Centro Nacional de Inteligencia ( Spanish National Intelligence Centre or CNI) agents accused of leaking highly classified information.
Sources from the intelligence community revealed that two Spanish agents, operating in Madrid were charged with divulging secrets to a foreign power, a serious offence. One remains in prison, while the other was released on bail.
The Guardia Civil’s investigation uncovered an internal breach within the CNI. This led to the dramatic expulsion of the American operatives from Spanish soil. The US, traditionally a close ally of Spain, now finds its diplomatic relations strained.
Defense Minister Margarita Robles and Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Albares urgently met with US Ambassador Julissa Reynoso. The ministers sought explanations for these alarming events. Spanish media reported that Reynoso claimed to be unaware of the situation which was then followed by her apology.
Further investigations indicate that the US agents had been recruiting CNI members for over a year. They were finally apprehended last September by the National Police. The extent of the leaked information and the amount of money involved remain undisclosed.
This incident raises critical questions about trust among allies and the extent of espionage activities. The impact on Spain-US relations is yet to be fully understood.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
Came as a surprise to who exactly?
It would be a surprise if it is not the US. Have you forgotten about Crypto AG? Tapping the phones of Merkel and Macron etc? So now the question is what can Germany, France, Spain and all other vassals do? Yeah, nothing. The US can test nuclear bombs on human beings at Bikini Atoll, lock people without trial and torturing for decades, bomb weddings in middle east and all democracies just pretend nothing is happening. So what do you think is gonna happen now? Yes, again nothing. Thanks.
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