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ETA

Cable sobre el 50 aniversario de ETA

Comunicado a Washington sobre la sangrienta celebración de los cincuenta años de ETA

ID: 219141
Date: 2009-08-03 07:36:00
Origin: 09MADRID774
Source: Embassy Madrid
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 08MADRID1055 08MADRID1231 09MADRID139 09MADRID272 09MADRID499 09MADRID707
Destination: VZCZCXRO2866
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMD #0774/01 2150736
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 030736Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1037
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 4070
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHMD/USDAO MADRID SP PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000774

SIPDIS

FOR EUR/WE'S ALEX MCKNIGHT AND STACIE ZERDECKI
MARC NORMAN OF S/CT
JANICE BELL OF INR
PASS TO AARON ATRIDGE OF NCTC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2019
TAGS: PINR, PINS, PREL, PTER, SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN: ETA MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY IN DEADLY FASHION

REF: A. MADRID 707
B. MADRID 499
C. MADRID 272
D. MADRID 139
E. 08 MADRID 1231
F. 08 MADRID 1055

MADRID 00000774 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: ADCM William H. Duncan for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: Spain is on maximum alert on
July 31 - the 50th anniversary of the founding of the
terrorist group Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) - after
suffering two terrorist attacks in as many days. Authorities
suspect ETA in both instances, although there have been no
claims of responsibility. There were no AMCIT casualties in
the attacks, which killed two and injured dozens. Embassy
Madrid convened meetings of its Emergency Action Committee on
July 29 and 31 (See Septel). While ETA has been weakened by
numerous arrests (See Refs A - E), Post has long noted that
the terrorist group retains the capacity to kill. It is
neither unprecedented for there to be back-to-back attacks
(See Ref F) nor for ETA to attack security services
installations and personnel without warning (See Ref A).
Miguel Angel Fernandez-Chico, head of the Spanish National
Police (SNP) and Miguel Valverde, Commissioner General for
the SNP Intelligence Directorate, on July 30 told Post's
Legat that they were determining how the explosives were
brought to the island and noted that the GOS was deploying
significant personnel and resources to Mallorca to locate the
culprits of the latest carbombing and to protect an influx of
dignitaries attending a memorial service. Details on each
attack follow. END SUMMARY AND COMMENT.

//Two Dead in Mallorca Bombing//

2. (U) Two Guardia Civil (GC) officers died on July 30 when
a bomb attached to the underside of their SUV patrol car
exploded in a crowded tourist area across from GC
headquarters in Palmanova, Mallorca. Authorities located
another bomb under a second GC car, which was detonated in a
controlled explosion. The U.S. Consular Agent in Palma has
unconfirmed reports that the first bomb contained 20 kilos of
explosives and the second contained 100 kilos. Some press
reports claim that the July 30 bombing - the first time that
ETA has killed anyone on the Balearic islands - was remotely
detonated by persons within eyesight of the vehicle. Ramon
Socias, the Spanish national government's Delegate to the
Balearic Islands, on July 31 told reporters that the working
hypothesis is that the culprits are still on Mallorca and
that authorities, who do not discount the possibility of
another attack, have implemented Operation "Jaula" (Cage) to
closely scrutinize at ports or the airport all those who
attempt to leave the island.

3. (U) In a show of political unity, Spanish President
Zapatero and opposition leader Mariano Rajoy of the Popular
Party on July 31 traveled together to Mallorca to pay their
respects to the two fallen GC officers. Defense Minister
Carme Chacon, Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba,
Lehendakari (the President of the Basque Region; equivalent
to a U.S. Governor) Patxi Lopez, and range of other national,
regional and local politicians also will attend a memorial
service. Spanish press reports indicate that, following the
carbombing, there are no plans for King Juan Carlos and
Queen Sofia to alter their previously scheduled arrival in
Mallorca on August 1. The royal family traditionally spends
its annual summer vacation at the Miravent Palace - a few
miles from the carbomb site - where Princesses Elena and
Cristina and their children already had arrived days ago.

//Large-Scale Bombing of Civil Guard Barracks in Burgos//

4. (U) An unannounced vehicle-borne attack on the GC barracks
in Burgos early in the morning of July 29 slightly injured 66
victims, 38 of whom - including two pregnant women and seven
children - were taken to the hospital. Local authorities say
it is a near-miracle that there were no fatalities in the
attack, which may have used as many as 200 kilos of
explosives. The blast devastated the 14-story barracks,
damaged neighboring buildings and left a crater more than 20

MADRID 00000774 002.2 OF 002


feet wide and up to six feet deep. The vehicle apparently
was parked nearly 50 feet away from the barracks, which
normally houses 90 families, only 50 of which were in the
building that night due to summer vacations. Press reports
state that 118 people were evacuated from the site, which was
on the list of targets identified by the ETA Vizcaya cell the
GC dismantled last summer.

5. (U) Following a review of security camera footage, Spanish
authorities determined that two men parked a Mercedes Benz
Vito van outside the barracks roughly 14 hours before the
detonation, and were driven away by a third person in a car
that was later abandoned. The barracks' security personnel
thought that the van looked suspicious and ran a check on the
license plates, which matched those of a vehicle that
belonged to a neighbor, so they let the van remain where it
was. ETA, however, had meticulously studied the neighborhood
and had stolen a vehicle matching the make, model and color
of a local resident's van, even creating a fake license plate
to duplicate the neighbor's. There are reports that the
Mercedes van used in the bombing may have been one of three
stolen vans that Spanish authorities in recent days publicly
had identified by make and model to the media for possible
use by ETA in imminent vehicle-borne attacks. Spanish press
reports suggest that authorities learned this information
following the arrest of a trio of ETA members in France on
July 4 (See Ref A). Disturbed by ETA's sophisticated
surveillance techniques, authorities are on the watch for the
two other vehicles - a Renault Kangoo and a Citroen Berlingo,
stolen in France but possibly already relocated to Spain.
CHACON