Britain secretly used its overseas territory of Gibraltar as a NATO spying base during the Cold War, it can be revealed. The revelations come from a secret report drawn up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1972.
- NATO paid for secret spy facility to be built inside the Rock of Gibraltar
- NATO operated secret underground maritime headquarters at Gibraltar and proposed installation of underwater spy system in the Gibraltar Straits
- Gibraltar provided NATO with “ideal position for surveillance” of Soviet naval movements
- UK knew Spain believed NATO operations on Gibraltar were “potential threat to Spanish security”
It shows how NATO paid for a spy facility inside the Rock of Gibraltar and operated a secret underwater maritime headquarters in seas around the territory.
The new information could increase tensions with Spain as it is not clear whether these assets still exist. Spain has long claimed Gibraltar and attempts to restrict its use as a military and intelligence base.
The MoD report was titled “The Strategic Importance of Gibraltar to the United Kingdom” and submitted to Peter Carrington, defence secretary in Edward Heath’s government.