Spain: ETA cell busted?

Spanish police arrested three suspected ETA suspects in Guipúzcoa June 23. The Interior Ministry said the three formed an “armed commando” which was prepared to go into action immediately, but denied it was responsible for a June 19 car bomb attack near Bilbao that killed a National Police counter-terrorism inspector. The attack, if it was the work of ETA, ends a six-month lull in activity by the group, four of whose leaders have been arrested in the past year by French and Spanish police. Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who broke off meetings in Brussels and returned to Madrid following the attack, said, “My will and my determination to finish ETA is unbreakable.” (Typically Spanish, June 23; NYT, June 19)

See our last posts on Spain and the Basque struggle.

  1. ETA strikes again?
    A powerful car bomb exploded early July 29 outside a police barracks in northern Spain that houses 90 families, ripping off part of the outer wall and wounding dozens of people. The Spanish authorities immediately blamed the Basque separatist group ETA, though it had not made its customary warning call beforehand. The explosion occurred as about 120 people, a third of them children, slept in the barracks in Burgos, according to Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. Many of the families were away on vacation. (NYT, July 29)

  2. ETA strikes again?
    A bomb that killed two police officers on the Spanish resort island of Majorca July 30 appeared to be the second attack in two days by the violent Basque separatist group ETA. All ports of entry were closed temporarily while police hunted for suspects, throwing the island’s busy airport into chaos at the height of the tourist season. The BBC called the attack “a grim birthday message from ETA,’ as the Basque militant group marks the 50th anniversary of its founding. The Spanish prince and princess headed the funeral of the two civil guards July 31, and simultaneous silent vigils against terrorism took place in various towns around Spain. Basque president Patxi López was present at the protest in Palma de Mallorca. (BBC News, EiTB, July 31; NYT, July 30)