Top ETA terrorist suspects arrested in joint French-Spanish anti terrorist operation in France
According to information released by the Spanish Civil Guard and the National Intelligence Centre the French police are carrying out a significant antiterrorist operation in France which has led to the detention of the presumed military head of ETA, Mikel Kabitoitz Carrera Sarobe.
Although there has been no official confirmation it is believed that another three ETA suspects have also been detained in the operation. One of these is believed to be Arkaitz Aguirregaviria, suspected of being involved in the assassination of a French policeman (the most recent victim of ETA). The other two are Maite Aranalde who is believed to be part of ETA’s military aparatus and Benoit Aramendi, a suspected ETA collaborator.
The suspects were all detained in a flat in Bayonne 50 kilomteres from the Spanish border. The French police had been keeping the flat under surveillance for weeks.
According to sources close to the French investigation Carrera Sarobe had been in the flat in Bayonne since Monday with the objective of having a military meeting with other members of ETA.
It is believed that Carrera Sarobe is responsible for hiring the van which was found to be full of explosives when intercepted by the Civil Guard in Zamora earlier this year. He has been in hiding since October 2003 and is being investigated for his participation in attacks in Navarra and in Zaragoza between 2001 and 2003 including the assassination of the President of the PP in Aragon, Manuel Jiménez.
The antiterrorist operation which is being carried out by the French police is still underway – the Civil Guard is helping where it can by providing information.