European Intel Bound Closer by Terror

By Nick Fishwick

Nick Fishwick CMG retired after nearly thirty years in the British Foreign Service. His postings included Lagos, Istanbul and Kabul. His responsibilities in London included director of security and, after returning from Afghanistan in 2007, he served as director for counter-terrorism. His final role was as director general for international operations.

In the wake of the deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, Spanish authorities and partner nations’ intelligence services will be working to uncover as many details as possible about the plot and the perpetrators. How do intelligence agencies and police forces cooperate in a fast developing situation such as Thursday’s attack? The Cipher Brief’s Mackenzie Weinger reached out to Nick Fishwick, a former senior member of the British Foreign Office, for his thoughts on counterterrorism cooperation between the United Kingdom and Spain.

The Cipher Brief: A vehicle being used for an attack is not necessarily a hallmark of international terrorism, but this attack has reportedly been claimed by ISIS. We also saw a similar tactic used in a terrorist attack by white supremacists in Virginia. In a situation like this, what are authorities looking for to understand the threat and who is responsible?

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