On Thursday afternoon, November 9, Spanish right-wing politician Alejandro Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face in broad daylight on a central Madrid street. The 78-year-old is currently recovering at a hospital in stable condition and his life is not in danger.
Police are ruling out no hypotheses as to why this happened but have yet to find any evidence that links it back to his ties with the Iranian opposition.
At around 1:30 pm near his home, Vidal-Quadras was attacked by a shooter wearing a black helmet who fired one gunshot before fleeing on motorbike driven by an accomplice. A police source close to the investigation has stated that while Vidal-Quadras has raised suspicion of an Iranian link from his hospital bed, there is still nothing backing this up.
However investigations into this possibility are continuing alongside those led by agents specializing in homicides. Later on that day, a charred motorbike found in a suburban town outside of Madrid was being investigated for further clues as well.
SPAIN ???????? Madrid following assassination attempt of far-right Vox party founder, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, who took a bullet to the head after tweeting, "Our Nation will cease to be a liberal democracy & become a totalitarian tyranny. We will not allow it." pic.twitter.com/sowv1D4yX2
— Mariana (@lonestarherd) November 10, 2023
Gregorio Marañón hospital revealed that the gunshot had fractured Vidal Quadras’ jawbone and he would undergo surgery shortly after arriving; they also stated that he was stable and not facing any life threatening situations. Reactions over the unusual shooting poured in with many politicians and commentators expressing surprise – Popular Party President Alberto Núñez Feijóo denounced it while Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez expressed concern for him and his family.
Furthermore, Vox President Santiago Abascal thanked God for Vidal-Quadrs seemingly being out of danger soon after news broke about the incident.
Vidal-Quadras is part of Spain’s conservative Popular Party and had been its regional leader Catalonia until leaving after three decades due to falling out with then Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, subsequently helping founding far right party Vox which he left shortly after failed attempt at winning European lawmaker seat 2014.
Fox News reported on the incident:
“Police believe Iran may be linked to the attempted murder of the former head of Spain’s People’s Party in Catalonia.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras was shot in the face while in the Salamanca region of Madrid on Thursday around 1:30 p.m. He was later taken to the hospital where he is still recovering.
A police source with inside information on the investigation told The Associated Press that 78-year-old Vidal-Quadras, while recovering in the hospital, theorized the gunmen could be linked to Iran.
The Iranian foreign ministry previously placed sanctions on Vidal-Quadras due to his relationship with Iran’s opposition-in-exile, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran.
Police say they have no evidence the Iranian government was involved in the assassination attempt, but they are looking into the theory as one of several possible motives.
Two men seen on a Yamaha motorcycle are believed to be connected to the assassination attempt.
The man who shot Vidal-Quadras dismounted the black motorbike and pulled the gun while his face was obscured by a helmet. Both men escaped on the vehicle following the attack.
The single gunshot fractured Vidal-Quadras’s jawbone but is not believed to be life-threatening.
The scene of the shooting has been roped off by authorities, and no suspects have been arrested yet.”