MADRID (AP) — Spain raised its terror threat level Wednesday following the attack on a French satirical newspaper that killed 12 people.
But Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said there was no intelligence indicating the nation faces imminent danger more than a decade after it was hit with Europe s worst Islamic terror attack.
The threat level was raised from Level 2 to Level 3, with four being the highest on the scale. The move means that authorities will increase security measures at key infrastructure installations, but Fernandez Diaz didn t specify which ones.
Spain last used the terror Level 3 measure in June for nine days when the country prepared for the coronation of King Felipe VI.
About 200 people in Madrid gathered outside the French Embassy Wednesday night to voice their outrage about the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper. Some held pens aloft in support of the newspaper s satirical cartoon-like drawings while others chanted “Freedom of Expression” and “We Are All Charlie.”
A similar rally with about 200 people was held outside the French Consulate in Barcelona.
In March 2004, bombs on rush-hour trains killed 191 people in Madrid in Europe s most deadly Islamic terror attack.
On Wednesday, the offices of the leading El Pais newspaper were evacuated after the France attack when a person left a package that security personnel deemed suspicious. Journalists spent about an hour outside the building until police determined the package containing a bottle connected to a cable wasn t explosive.
The Madrid Press Association representing journalists in the Spanish capital condemned the Charlie Hebdo shootings as a “blatant attack on freedom of the press intended at fostering a climate of journalistic fear and self-censorship.”
The association added in its statement: “Killing the messenger, in this case journalists, has always been the method of intolerant and fanatical people to restrict freedom of expression and to restrict citizens rights to information.”