Spain investigates possible Central Intelligence Agency links to embassy break

Elias Hubbard
March 14, 2019

El País even reports that two of the group of 10 have been identified, and have links to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Both El País and El Confidencial report that the Spanish authorities suspect U.S. intelligence agencies and their allies could have been involved in the attack.

If the CIA's role in the whole affair is confirmed, it might lead to a major diplomatic spat between Madrid and Washington, as this is not exactly what one expects from an "ally". Not only would it mean that the United States agency had operated on Spanish soil without asking for authorization or informing the authorities, it would also be a violation of the global conventions that protect diplomatic delegations.

Spanish authorities said police were investigating an incident last week at the North Korean Embassy in Madrid in which a woman was hurt and, according to a North Korean government's aide, computers and cellphones also were stolen. They tied up the eight people inside and put bags on their heads. One woman was eventually able to climb out of a second-story window and contact Spanish police. Soon after officers arrived at the building, the 10 assailants sped away and ambulances were called to treat the staff for their injuries. Minutes later, two luxury vehicles sped out of the embassy.

They reportedly escaped with documents, computers and telephones in two embassy cars with diplomatic number plates which they later abandoned.

Police found the eight victims inside.

At least two of the diplomatic workers required medical attention, El Pais reported.

Authorities have dismissed the idea that common criminals are behind the alleged attack.

"The operation was perfectly planned as if it were carried out by a military cell, '"El País reported, citing sources close to the ongoing investigation".

And the attackers seemed to know what they were looking for, grabbing mobile phones and computers.

A court in Madrid is in charge of the investigation into the assault on the embassy but so far no arrests have been made.

It suggested the intruders could have been looking for information relating to Kim's top negotiator, Kim Hyok Chol, who served as ambassador to Spain before being expelled in September 2017.

Former North Korean ambassador to Spain, Kim Hyok Chol, in a file photo from 2015.

A view of North Korea's embassy in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.

He is now Pyongyang's special representative for the US and was involved in preparations for the summit in Hanoi between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump.

The talks failed to reach a nuclear accord.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER