MADRID — The US grew so concerned about the possibility of an Islamist terrorist attack in Spain in 2007 that it proposed setting up a counterterrorism center in the country's second-largest city, according to confidential cables.
The three US cables, released by WikiLeaks on Saturday, state that the US planned the "counterterrorism, anti-crime and intelligence center" at its consulate in Barcelona.
The goal was "combating the target-rich environment of terrorist and criminal activities centered in the region," which has a "presence of over 1 million Muslims," a 2007 cable says.
In March 2004, a total of 191 people were killed and more than 1,800 wounded in bombing attacks on Madrid commuter trains. Islamic militants claimed responsibility.
One US cable, dated 2005, sets the scene, saying that "Spain is both a significant target of Islamic terrorist groups and a major logistical hub for Islamic extremist groups operating across the globe."