Skip to main content

Spain Beefs Up Security As Premier’s Office, Defence Ministry, Ukraine Embassy Receive Letter Bombs, One Injured

SPAIN
December 1, 2022

The ministry said it had ordered “an increase in security measures around the consular legations present in our country as well as in other areas that need special protection.”

Spain has beefed up security around public buildings and diplomatic missions after a string of letter bombs was discovered this week.

One of the letter bombs injured an employee of the Ukrainian Embassy, the Interior Ministry said Thursday.

The targets included the prime minister’s office, the Defence Ministry, the arms manufacturer Instalaza in Zaragoza, the satellite centre at a Madrid air base and the Ukrainian Embassy, according to Washington Post. Only in the case of the embassy did the letter explode; in the other places, they were detected in time.

“As a result of these events, the National Police is conducting a confidential investigation,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it had ordered “an increase in security measures around the consular legations present in our country as well as in other areas that need special protection.”

Perez Ruiz, the secretary of state for security, said Thursday that while the investigation was ongoing, it appeared all the letters originated from inside the country.

“Both the characteristics and the content of the envelopes were similar in all five cases,” he said, adding that investigators have clues on what the origin might be.

The letter to the prime minister’s office was found and neutralised on November 24.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid and a Spanish arms manufacturer whose weapons are being used in Kyiv’s defence against Russia received letter bombs on Wednesday, with the former delivery causing a minor injury to a worker at the diplomatic mission.

The embassy envelope, addressed to Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev, exploded as an employee tried to open it, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said. The worker suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and received medical care.

The employee received superficial cuts to a finger on his right hand, according to El País, the Spanish newspaper. The letter was shipped in an 18-by-10-centimetre envelope and the address and recipient’s name were handwritten in blue ink, the newspaper reported, citing police.

On Wednesday afternoon, an envelope addressed to the head of Instalaza arrived at the company, which produces the C90 grenade launchers sent to Ukraine by the Spanish government. The building was evacuated and then the bomb was detonated by a National Police bomb squad, according to the ministry statement.

The letter to the Torrejón de Ardoz air base was detected in the early hours of the morning Thursday and, after being examined by X-ray technology, was deemed to contain a “mechanism.” Police are analysing the envelope, which was addressed to the base’s satellite centre, the Interior Ministry said.

The letter to the Defence Ministry was intercepted about 10 a.m. local time and addressed to the minister, Margarita Robles.