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Re: FOR COMMENT: Likely ETA attacks in Mallorca

Released on 2012-08-06 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 977100
Date 2009-07-30 21:36:50
In response, the Spanish government temporarily suspended travel at the
island's ports and airport in an alleged alleged? effort to capture those
responsible for the attacks.

-Yeah, that's the reason that the police gave, although my first thought
was that maybe there was a threat to transportation and so they wanted to
close it down.

Karen Hooper wrote:

Ben West wrote:

Two police officers died when a small improvised explosive device (IED)
detonated July 30 outside a police barracks in Palmanova, Spain, a small
coastal town on the Mediterranean Spanish island of Mallorca, a
destination popular with European tourists. The relatively limited
damage from the blast is consistent with a device -- containing probably
no more than 10 pounds of explosive -- being attached to a parked car,
most likely near the vehicle's gas tank. A second device was later
found and defused in the same area, with unconfirmed reports saying that
it, too, was placed under a police vehicle. In response, the Spanish
government temporarily suspended travel at the island's ports and
airport in an alleged alleged? effort to capture those responsible for
the attacks.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, though authorities
suspect that it was carried out by the Basque separatist militant group
Euskadi ta Askatasuna (ETA). Indeed, the targeting of police officers
and the use of an IED concealed in a car matches previous ETA attacks.
Mallorca does not have a significant history of ETA activity, with the
noteworthy exception of the group's 2005 plan to assassinate Spanish
King Juan Carlos I there which was disrupted by police. ETA is known to
conduct attacks in tourist areas such as Malaga in 2002, and the popular
tourist area in Madrid, Callao Square in 2000 and while today's attack
certainly took place in an area with lots of tourists, it was not
specifically against a tourist target. Certainly the island's tourist
industry will suffer as a side-affect though, as the ports and airports
on the island were temporarily shut down to search for culprits. (Palma
de Mallorca airport is the second busiest in Spain, with upwards of
90,000 passengers traveling through there per day during the tourist

Today's attack is the second in as many days, the third time in the past
year that suspected ETA militants clustered their attacks within a two
day period, as seen in the timeline below. This is a tactic likely put
in place with a design to maximize public exposure in the press, as
consecutive attack generally garner more attention than single, isolated

ETA attacks in the past year:

July 30: An explosive device placed under a police patrol vehicle
detonated, killing two officers

July 29: An explosive laden van detonated outside Civil Guard barracks
in Burgos

July 10: An explosive device was detonated outside a Basque socialist
party office in XXX

June 19: An explosive device killed a Spanish policeman as he was
leaving for work in Arrigorriaga [LINK]

March 26: An explosive device detonated outside the home of a
businessman in Basque country.

February 9: An explosive device detonated in Madrid, causing physical
damage but harming no one.

January 16: Police defused two explosive devices near a television

December 31: An explosive device fitted to a car detonated at the
regional broadcasting network headquarters in Bilbao.

December 3: Gunmen shot and killed a man in Azpetia, Basque country

December 2: A car bomb exploded at the University of Navarra in
Pampalona, injuring 17.

September 22: A car bomb exploded outside a military school in Catabria
region, killing a soldier and wounding another.

September 21: Suspected ETA militants threw Molotov Cocktails at a
police station in Ondarroa, injuring 10 people

September 21: A car bomb exploded in Vitoria after an anonymous phone
call warned of an attack.

With a changing demographic and political climate in the Basque
autonomous region, STRATFOR has noted that ETA, with less support in its
Basque autonomous region, is likely to become more violent as it becomes
more desperate. As Basque country overall grows more moderate, ETA will
be left with only the most extreme members who could very well deviate
from the common ETA practices of avoiding civilians, calling attacks in
ahead of time and conducting attacks in the middle of the night when
casualties are less likely.

Ben West
Terrorism and Security Analyst
Cell: 512-750-9890

Karen Hooper
Latin America Analyst

Ben West
Terrorism and Security Analyst
Cell: 512-750-9890