Brais Cedeira, 28 April 2022
The Civil Guard registers the Cesicat, embryo of the Catalan CNI. EFE
Sources from the center reveal to EL ESPAÑOL the suspicions that there were members of this organization among the high-ranking separatist officials.
Among the 63 Catalan independence supporters allegedly spied on with the Pegasus program were people chosen by the independence movement to integrate or form the so-called “Catalan CNI”. This is confirmed to EL ESPAÑOL by sources from the secret services.
The “Catalan CNI” has been under investigation for years by the judicial authorities in Spain, who have tried to unravel its links with public officials of the Generalitat. An example of this is the so-called Operation Judas.
In that operation, carried out in September 2019, already with Pedro Sánchez in Moncloa, the Civil Guard arrested 13 members of the most radical wing of the Defense Committees of the Republic (CDR).
The summary detailed how a “secret group”, called “CNI Catalán”, met with one of the 13 CDR, directing them and marking their objectives in the shadows. They sought to provide them with the “necessary logistical infrastructure” to undertake different actions, such as the occupation of the Parliament of Catalonia and its subsequent defense.
As stated in the police reports of the summary of that case, the so-called “Catalan CNI” had “an organized infrastructure at a ‘technical and tactical’ level, as well as ample financial resources and the capacity to mobilize thousands of people.”
The existence of this “Catalan CNI” was one of the reasons that led Judge Manuel García Castellón, the instructor of the CDR case at the National High Court, to authorize the Civil Guard to intervene in the communications of those under investigation and allow the placement of tracking devices in their vehicles.
At that time, the judge recorded that the detainees had started a “conspiracy plan against State institutions, which would consist of the assault and subsequent illegal occupation of the Parliament of Catalonia on D-day, in order to to subvert the constitutional order”.
According to the sources consulted, since 2012, the independentistas have tried to hide the evidence of the creation of an intelligence unit at the service of the procés, which would have been fed with public money.
The Cesicat (Centre for Information Security of Catalonia), created in 2009 by the Generalitat and dissolved in 2019, was always seen as the embryo of the “Catalan CNI”. That center is credited with the 39-page report that, in 2013, founded the “National Security Agency” of the future independent Catalonia.
The then president, Artur Mas, claimed to be unaware of the authorship of the report, although it was later learned that a Madrid company had been paid almost 22,000 euros for its preparation.
The PSC denounced this organization before the Prosecutor’s Office for monitoring social activists and citizens on social networks, as well as for the use of a “spy program” on mobile phones of Mossos d’Esquadra escorts. The then Minister of Business, Felip Puig – Cesicat depended on this department at the time – confessed that these follow-ups had been carried out.
Within the framework of the investigations into the 1-O referendum, not only the activities of the “Catalan CNI” came to light, but also the attempt to destroy the evidence of its existence.
The Civil Guard discovered the documentation that the Mossos d’Esquadra wanted to destroy in the Sant Adrià de Besòs incinerator, among whose files appeared reports on monitoring journalists, unions, associations and political parties from sectors opposed to independence.
A Barcelona judge filed the open investigation into the so-called “espionage of the Mossos” in 2019, although he did not deny that this control of people and entities was carried out.
Defense of the CNI
Knowing what or who was behind the “Catalan CNI” was therefore a key mission for the Spanish intelligence services, which have the obligation to “prevent and avoid any danger, threat or aggression against the independence or territorial integrity of Spain, the national interests and the stability of the rule of law and its institutions”.
Other sources consulted by this newspaper close to Spanish intelligence consider it “logical and very plausible” to try to find out if this apparatus, close to the Catalan authorities, Carles Puigdemont and successive presidents, continued to function. It was crucial to know who was in charge and what their activities were.
Now, the Government’s decision to placate the spirits of the independence movement by allowing ERC and Bildu to participate in the Official Secrets Commission has sparked criticism and astonishment within the CNI: “It’s like putting a cat in a mouse cage “, point out the sources consulted. “A savagery”, “a danger”, they insist.
This Wednesday it was the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, who defended the secret services in the Congress of Deputies against attacks by separatist groups. Robles has invoked the State’s right to defend itself, always within the law and under judicial control.