The Islamist extremist who masterminded the August 2017 terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils had worked as an informant to the Spanish security services.
Spain’s National Intelligence Centre (CNI) have admitted that they had contact with Abdelbaki Es Satty that began during his four year jail sentence for drug smuggling between 2010 and 2014.
It’s also been established that Es Satty was known to the Spanish intelligence services when he first arrived in Spain in 2002, and that his contact details were included in the address books of the terrorists who carried out the 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed 193 people.
Es Satty was killed in an explosion in the bomb factory he was operating in the small Catalan town of Alcanar in August 2017.
The CNI have refused to admit when Es Satty stopped working as an informant for them, or how much he was paid. They also failed to intervene when Es Satty appealed against his deportation from Spain in 2015 because the court were presented with no information whatever about his links with Islamist terrorists.
The CNI have not offered an explanation for why none of the information on Es Satty’s jihadist links and drug smuggling activities were ever shared with the Catalan police when it became clear that he’d settled in Catalonia either.
What’s even worse is that despite the Spanish security services having failed to share the information they had on Es Satty with the Catalan police, Spanish sources in Madrid even set about briefing the press that the Catalan police were at fault for “missing opportunities to uncover the plot”.
Given how the justice system works in Spain nobody in the Spanish intelligence agencies will ever face criticism, let alone punishment over this scandal, and if Es Satty was still working as an informant while he was actively plotting terrorist attacks, the fact will never be made public.
We know this because if you’re part of the Spanish establishment you can walk free even after being found guilty of vast multi-billion Euro frauds (like Rodrigo Rato and Iñaki Urdangarin have), while if you’re considered an enemy of the Spanish state you can be imprisoned without trial for “crimes” like peacefully promoting Catalan independence and organising a democratic vote.
It’s absolutely no surprise that the Spanish legal system is widely regarded as the most corrupt in western Europe, and it would take an extraordinary display of wishful thinking to expect anything resembling a proper unbiased investigation into the Abdelbaki Es Satty scandal.