Even before the atrocity in Brussels, Spain was on its highest state of alert. For years, as the shock of horrific bombings in March 2004 that killed 191 peoplesubsided, some authorities behaved as if they thought the country had achieved a sort of immunity: jihadists moved through here, they didn’t strike here. But that delusion is waning. Never before has Spain received so many explicit threats of imminent terrorist attacks or felt so acutely the psychosis that comes with them.
You can see the results on the streets.
A young man wanders in the center of Madrid painting manhole covers with a black marker. Dark-skinned, perhaps of Arab—probably of Moroccan—origin, well dressed and groomed, he excites little alarm, or interest, from those who pass by.
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Image courtesy of Reuters