It almost seems now to be an annual summer game for some to wind people up with hoax terrorist warnings, and again this year the British authorities and police in Spain generally and here in the Canaries specifically have had to dismiss false rumours running riot in the press and on social media that the terror level has been raised to maximum because an attack is “imminent” (see this link for the same thing this time last year).
Obviously, therefore, it is absolutely essential to be sure what the actual position is at any given point. The Spanish Interior Ministry, like the UK’s Home Office and any other mainstream EU country, has a terrorism threat levels system showing the current risk at any time. In the UK, the threat levels are:
- LOW – an attack is unlikely
- MODERATE – an attack is possible, but not likely
- SUBSTANTIAL – an attack is a strong possibility
- SEVERE – an attack is highly likely
- CRITICAL – an attack is expected imminently
In Spain, these same categories are identified by numbers between 1 and 5, and as the UK is on Severe, so Spain is also on number 4. If you hear that an attack is expected immediately but find the threat level remains on 4, you can be sure it is a hoax report because if it were true, the level would be raised instantly to 5. To get absolutely confirmed information, the Interior Ministry’s threat level page is HERE: although in Spanish, the number is clearly shown numerically so anyone can understand it. (If you have trouble getting the page to load, just remove the “s” from the https”).
And there need be no concern that the information is somehow “out of date” because it is monitored constantly and there are top-level security meetings monthly with official announcements after every meeting of the terror threat level … and in between those times if the alert should change. All we have to do to be sure of any information is check the Interior Ministry’s link and look at the number.