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Recalibrating U.S. Counterterrorism: Lessons Learned from Spain

Spain, in particular, has developed new and creative approaches to law enforcement in its struggle against terrorism.

As the United States seeks to avoid overreliance on military forces to fight terrorism abroad, law enforcement agencies—international and domestic—will play an even more important role. America can learn much from its allies in this regard. Many U.S. allies, such as the United Kingdom and France, have experienced both foreign and domestic terrorist threats to their homelands, and most lack “overthehorizon” military capabilities to mitigate these threats. Spain, in particular, has developed new and creative approaches to law enforcement in its struggle against terrorism.

Understudied compared with the United Kingdom or France, Spain’s efforts against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State provide important lessons for the United States as it recalibrates its counterterrorism strategy. Spain has long been a recruitment and facilitation hub for violent jihadists, beginning with support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan during the 1980s and extending through the conflicts in Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq and Syria. It also has been featured in al-Qaeda and Islamic State propaganda, and these groups and their sympathizers have executed terrorist attacks in the Spanish homeland.

Read more at Lawfare

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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