Terrorism: December 18, 2003


Spanish sources reported that the Basque terrorist ETA organization has been weakened over the last three years. A Spanish government spokesman said that the arrest, on December 9, by French police, of the ETAs military commander, Gorka Palacio Alday, could further weaken ETA. The Spanish attribute greater international scrutiny of terrorist finances following 9/11 as contributing to ETAs decline. In 2000, the ETA carried out 44 attacks, killing 23 people. In 2001, the ETA conducted 43 attacks and killed 15. In 2002, the ETA conducted 20 attacks and killed five. In 2003, through December, the ETA has launched 17 attacks, killing three people. In late 2001, British sources reported investigations by Spain and Great Britain had revealed financial ties between the ETA and the IRA. The squeeze on those finances and increased cooperation by French authorities to deny the ETA sanctuary in France appear to have greatly reduced the ETAs capabilities.


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