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TERRORISTS: Spain's ETA
The struggle against terrorists will not be easy, since they are utterly ruthless young men, often used by older men who remain in the shadows. Spain's ETA receives little publicity in the US press, but it is still active, killing people indiscriminately. International summits provide excellent targeis. Spanish police say they have discovered an ETA plot to attack the European Union March 14-16 summit in Barcelona , according to the Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia (2/28/02). Police questioning a group of suspected ETA members arrested in France in January discovered that they were planning a bomb attack. Such high-profile meetings have in the past attracted violent anti-globalization demonstrations. The ETA suspects also had a list of tourist targets in other parts of Spain.
ETA has links with the IRA. In Ireland before World War I only a small minority supported violence, but British repression won sympathy for them. Aware of this, the Spanish government is being very cautious in dealing with ETA. Tired of the fight, Britain made peace with the Irish republicans, although IRA continued to be active in Ulster, using Eire as a base. This week the IRA in the republic lost its credibility. In the case of Spain, even if the Basque country received its independence. ETA would suffer a similar fate and ETA would be an embarrassment. Of course, Ireland, separated by sea and religion from England is different from the Basque country. I personally support the attempts of the Spanish government to reach a peaceful accommodation and I hope that ETA will be crushed.
Ronald Hilton - 3/1/02