Spain’s government has expressed its satisfaction after anti-ETA raids netted police four suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group.
Two men and two women were detained in and around San Sebastian. The Spanish interior ministry believes their role may have been to provide ETA with information about future targets. It says they were picked up in an investigation stemming from the arrest in May of ETA’s suspected political leader. Francisco Javier Lopez Pena alias “Thierry” was seized by police in France. So too, in November, was the group’s alleged military commander known as “Cherokee.” His arrest was followed in December by the detention of his suspected replacement dubbed “Gurbitz”. Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero congratulated security forces, saying police action had led to the arrest of 365 ETA suspects over the last two years. He spoke as the European Union added two Basque separatist parties to its list of groups and individuals supporting terrorism. Basque Nationalist Action and The Communist Party of Basque Lands have already been outlawed in Spain.