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On the morning of 30 December 2006, the Basque separatist organization ETA ended an eight-month ceasefire and killed two people by planting a bomb in the parking of the new Terminal 4 of Madrid Barajas International Airportmarker in Spain. On 9 January 2007, Gara published a letter on behalf of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), a group classified as a terrorist organisation by the European Union and numerous other countries; the ETA letter claimed responsibility for the 30 December 2006 bomb at Barajas airport in Madrid. ETA also claimed that the ceasefire was still in place despite the bombing.


Details

The explosion took place in the terminal's carpark, and the interior minister has stated the almost brand-new carpark was damaged (three of four stories were demolished by the explosion, 60% of the building destroyed). The terminal also received some damage. Two were killed and 26 other people sustained injuries, mainly with damage to the ears because of the shock wave.

The explosion was from a van bomb, a Renault Trafic containing 500 to 800 kilograms of an ammonium nitrate fertilizer based explosive mixed with aluminum powder stolen from a Spanish national in France, who was abducted and released shortly after the bombing. A similarly charged ETA Renault Trafic van bomb was intercepted by the police going towards Madrid 11 days before the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

The Ecuadorian Government stated that two Ecuadorianmarker citizens died as a result of the bombing. The Spanish Government did not confirm this statement when it was issued. The body of one of the victims, Carlos Alonso Palate, was finally found on 3 January 2007, dead inside his vehicle. The body of the second victim (Diego Armando Estacio) was located on the morning of 5 January 2007.

Entry was restricted to all airport terminals by the Spanish national police but air traffic resumed at Terminal 4 soon afterward.

Prelude

On 4 November 2006, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) warned the Spanish government that the "peace process" was "in crisis". ETA and its political supporters asked for concessions that were not acceded to, including moving ETA inmates to jails in the Basque region and the halting of arrests and trials of ETA suspects.

It has been reported by ABC on 12 January 2007 that, before the attack, ETA reminded Rodríguez Zapatero about the 2004 Madrid train bombings as a way to pressure the Government with the possibility of an attack before upcoming elections, even though the source also states that ETA 'had nothing to do' with the attack itself.

Aftermath

Damaged parking building.
Because of the attacks, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero ordered the government to put "on hold" all peace talks with ETA. On 3 January 2007 the Spanish Minister of the Interior Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba announced all peace talks with ETA had definitely been broken off.

Despite this claim, Spanish newspaper El Mundo claimed that, less a week after Zapatero's order, PSE (Partido Socialista de Euskadi, basque branch of the PSOE) leaders met in secret with leaders of Batasuna. This report has been denounced as a falsehood by PSE leaders.

Several silent demonstrations took place across Spain on 31 December 2006. Some protesters against the bombings were just demonstrators against ETA. However, other demonstrators chanted cries against the government, and others asked about who committed the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

On 9 January 2007, in a letter to the newspaper Gara, ETA claimed responsibility for the 30 December blast and insisted that the March ceasefire was still in place despite the bombing. ETA extends their solidarity to the "collateral damage" (the two Ecuadorian immigrants killed by the explosion), stating that the "objective of this armed action was not to cause victims" and blames the government for the dead, due to an alleged lack of diligence evacuating the building. They also accuse the Government and the PSOE of creating obstacles for a democratic process.

In January 2008, Spain said it arrested two of the men who carried out the bombing. Another suspect was on the run.

On 16 November 2008, French police arrested the suspected head of ETA, Miguel de Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina, aka "Txeroki." According to an indictment by a Spanish judge, Garikoitz Aspiazu ordered the attack on the airport in the summer of 2006 and gave final instructions to the bombers.

References

  1. http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_8082.shtml
  2. Los etarras detenidos en Mondragón son los autores del atentado de la T-4, El Mundo , 9 January 2008.
  3. foxnews.com
  4. foxnews.com


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