Several British news sites, including Breitbart UK, which quoted the Telegraaf, which quoted the Daily Mail, which quoted the Express, "reported" on Tuesday that Islamic State terrorists were preparing a "large scale" "massacre" of Brits, Germans and other Europeans at "tourist hotspots" that were on a jihadi terror target "hit list" for Spain and its popular coastal resorts.
The Spanish Home Office denied the rumours, telling The Spain Report on Tuesday evening that the government was not currently concerned about any specific terrorist attack threat anywhere in the country.
Earlier in the day, the Home Secretary, Juan Ignacio Zoido, said in statements to journalists that there was no specific threat against any location in Spain, although there was a generalised concern "against the whole of the West".
The British news stories referenced a new Spanish government national security report, presented in Congress on Tuesday morning by the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Jorge Moragas.
That 174-page report does exist, and was made public on Tuesday, but it does not contain any specific references to imminent, direct, large-scale jihadi massacres about to take place in Benidorm or on the Costa del Sol.
There are zero references to "direct threats" plural, of any kind, anywhere, in the report. Likewise, there are no references at all to "large scale", "massacre" or "slaughter".
"Direct threat", singular, appears but in the context of the situation in Eastern Europe and the missile defence shield on that part of the continent, which "Russia perceives as a direct threat".
"British" is used, once, but only when the report mentions Brexit, as in "the result of the British referendum". One reference can also be found to "scale", not "large scale" but rather an earthquake in the Spanish North African city of Melilla in January 2016 "that reached level 6.3 on the Richter scale".
"Beach" appears only twice, both in the same paragraph that explains not terrorism but the fight against drugs, because drug traffickers have apparently taken to throwing bundles of intoxicants over the side of larger vessels offshore, which are then picked up…on the beach.
There are five mentions of "tourist" or "tourism", three because it is the title of the Industry, Energy & Tourism Ministry, one in a paragraph related to rail accidents and strikes, and one in a paragraph that is indeed about the terror threat but only in a very generic sense to explain that Spain has been at terror threat level four (out of five) since June 2015 and has therefore reinforced security at key transport infrastructure and "places where there are large crowds and tourist areas of our countries, and at critical infrastructure".
There are seven references to "German" or its derivatives, but only two refer to terror attacks, neither of them in Spain or about Spain. The first mentions the Spanish-German-Italian triple nationality of one of the victims of the Brussels attacks, and the second notes there were two attacks in Germany, in Munich and Berlin. The other five references to words containing "German" are about bond spreads, the nuclear deal negotiated with Iran, Germany's role in eliminating Syrian chemical weapons and a European anti-drone attack project.
The report does say, in the executive summary, that Spain "has been threatened directly by DAESH (Islamic State) on social networks as a target of its activities" given that Spain forms part of the global coalition fighting the Islamic State and because the Islamic State claims "Al Andalus"—the name for old Moorish Spain—as part of its territory in propaganda videos.
Whilst no specific target or timing are mentioned, over the "past few months", there has been a "significant increase" in jihadi terror communications "that contain generic threats towards Spain, or its interests abroad, mentioning the West or Europe as a target of their terrorist actions, or specifically highlighting Al Andalus or certain Spanish cities".
The report also notes that this year some of the statements have been published in Spanish, which "implies an increase in risk due to their influence on radicals installed in our country". The Islamic State also "launched a campaign to hire Spanish translators" last summer.
The latest Home Office press releases on Tuesday, detailing the arrest of a Moroccan man in the Canary Islands for Islamist radicalisation activities, said "188 jihadi terrorists" had been arrested since June 2015.
Spain believes there is a "considerable likelihood" of the Islamic State trying to carry out attacks somewhere on European soil "as a show of strength" in reaction to continued attacks on their bases and the areas they control in Syria and Iraq.