Military capacity of ETA

ETA still has capacity to hit major targets

The latest report on Terrorism in the European Union carried out by Europol (the European Police Agency) has confirmed that ETA has reorganised its cells and renewed its capacity to attack major targets since the ceasefire began in March 2006.

The report highlights the fact that during the ceasefire ETA has carried out two attacks, one of which was the bombing of Barajas – Spain’s busiest airport in Madrid which on 30th december 2006 claimed the lives of two people and caused damages estimated at 30 million euros.

According to the report, since then ETA has ‘not only maintained but reorganised its capacity to carry out major attacks against high profile targets’. It also states that before the ceasefire announced in March 2006, ETA used ‘kale borroka’ to maintain pressure on the government and to demonstrate to those who support the organisation its determination to fight for its objectives.

The report holds groups made up of young people who sympathise with ETA responsible for ‘kale borroka’ which can be literally translated as street warfare and consists of acts of vandalism. It states that they follow the orders of ETA to attack targets such as cash points, banks or PSOE (the Spanish socialist party) headquarters using urban guerrilla tactics.

According to the report ‘kale borroka’ only stopped for two months following the declaration of the ceasefire. In June 2006 ten attacks were recorded covering 37 cities, towns and villages in Spain. A total of 144 attacks by Basque separatists were recorded for the whole of 2006 in both France and Spain.