US embassy cable - 90MADRID12668

SPAIN: 1990 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

Identifier: 90MADRID12668
Wikileaks: View 90MADRID12668 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Madrid
Created: 1990-10-31 15:25:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PTER SP PGOV KPRP
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 311525Z OCT 90
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1837
INFO RUFHMDB/AMCONSUL BARCELONA
AMCONSUL BILBAO
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AFOSI DISTRICT 68 TORREJON AFB SP
DIA WASHINGTON DC//0S//
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 MADRID 12668 
 
 
S/CT FOR BREELAND 
 
E.O. 12356:N/A 
TAGS: PTER, SP, PGOV, KPRP 
SUBJECT: SPAIN: 1990 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT 
 
REF: STATE 355397 
 
1.  THE FOLLOWING REPORT IS THE ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT FOR 
SPAIN FOR 1990.  RESPONSES ARE KEYED TO THE QUESTIONS IN REFTEL. 
 
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A. PROSECUTIONS INVOLVING TERRORISM 
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2.  THE TWO MAJOR TERRORIST GROUPS IN SPAIN ARE THE EXTREMIST 
BASQUE SEPARATIST GROUP EUSKADI TA ASKATASUNA (ETA), OR BASQUE 
HOMELAND AND LIBERTY, AND THE SMALLER, BUT VIRULENT, FIRST OF 
OCTOBER ANTI-FASCIST RESISTANCE GROUPS (GRAPO).  ETA HAS 
LIMITED INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS, PRIMARILY WITH BASQUES 
RESIDENT IN FRANCE, BUT CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY IN 1990 FOR 
SEVERAL TERRORIST ACTS AGAINST SPANISH INSTALLATIONS IN THE 
NETHERLANDS.  GRAPO, ALSO BASICALLY A DOMESTIC TERRORIST GROUP, 
HAS AT LEAST THE PUBLIC SYMPATHY OF THE GERMAN RED ARMY 
FACTION.  TWO SMALLER TERRORIST GROUPS WERE ACTIVE IN 1990: 
TERRA LLIURE, A CATALAN SEPARATIST GROUP, AND THE GUERRILLA 
ARMY OF THE FREE GALICIAN PEOPLE (EGPGC), A GALICIAN 
NATIONALIST GROUP. 
 
3.  IN A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH IN EARLY 1990, A HITHERTO UNKNOWN 
ETA TERRORIST NETWORK DIRECTED FROM FRANCE, KNOWN AS THE 
"ITINERANT COMMAND," WAS UNCOVERED AND SEVERAL KEY LEADERS 
ARRESTED.  OVER A 12-YEAR PERIOD, THIS GROUP HAD BEEN 
RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME 40 TERRORIST BOMBINGS AND ASSASSINATIONS 
IN SPAIN.  THE DISCOVERY OF THE NETWORK BEGAN WITH THE ARREST 
OF A FRENCH BASQUE, HENRI PAROT, IN SEVILLE IN APRIL PRIOR TO A 
PLANNED ETA ATTACK ON THE LOCAL HEADQUARTERS OF THE NATIONAL 
POLICE.  AS A RESULT OF CLOSE COOPERATION BETWEEN SECURITY 
FORCES IN FRANCE AND SPAIN, OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ITINERANT 
COMMAND WERE LATER ARRESTED IN FRANCE. 
 
4.  NO MAJOR PROSECUTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC 
TERRORISTS WERE CONCLUDED DURING 1990.  HOWEVER, THE CRIMINAL 
JUSTICE SYSTEM IS CONTINUING ITS INVESTIGATIONS AND PRE-TRIAL 
PROCEDURES AGAINST MANY INCARCERATED TERRORISTS.  AS OF 
SEPTEMBER 1990, 468 MEMBERS OF ETA WERE IN PRISON IN SPAIN, 
MANY OF THEM AWAITING TRIAL.  THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO TAKEN 
ACTION AGAINST RIGHT-WING TERRORISTS.  SEVERAL PERSONS, 
INCLUDING A NATIONAL POLICE OFFICER, ARE IN PREVENTIVE 
DETENTION PENDING PROSECUTION FOR THE MADRID ASSASSINATION OF A 
PRO-ETA BASQUE CONGRESSMAN IN LATE 1989; AND TWO OTHER NATIONAL 
POLICE OFFICERS ARE AWAITING TRIAL ON CHARGES OF ORGANIZING AN 
EXTREME RIGHT DEATH SQUAD OF THE ANTI-TERRORIST GROUPS FOR 
LIBERATION (GAL) THAT OPERATED IN SOUTHERN FRANCE FROM 1983 TO 
1986.  AUTHORITIES OBTAINED COURT ORDERS IN JULY TO EXTEND 
THEIR PREVENTIVE DETENTION FOR TWO YEARS.  SPAIN IS ALSO 
PURSUING THE PROSECUTION OF THREE HIZBALLAH TERRORISTS ARRESTED 
IN NOVEMBER 1989 IN MADRID AND VALENCIA, DESPITE REPORTED 
WARNINGS BY HIZBALLAH SUPPORTERS IN LEBANON OF POSSIBLE 
TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST SPANISH TARGETS. 
 
5.  DELAYS IN PROSECUTION ARE NOT UNUSUAL FOR CRIMINAL CASES IN 
SPAIN.  THE LAW PERMITS PREVENTIVE DETENTION FOR UP TO TWO 
YEARS PENDING TRIAL; HOWEVER, EVEN THIS LIMIT ON PREVENTIVE 
DETENTION MAY BE EXTENDED IN CASES INVOLVING SERIOUS CRIMES, 
SUCH AS TERRORISM. 
 
6.  IN 1990, SPANISH COURTS CONTINUED TO DEAL STERNLY WITH 
TERRORIST CASES, SUBJECT TO CONSTITUTIONAL RESTRAINTS.  THE 
PUBLIC PROSECUTORS ROUTINELY SEEK STIFF PRISON SENTENCES FOR 
ACCUSED TERRORISTS.  IN TWO RECENT CASES, FOR EXAMPLE, THE 
GOVERNMENT SOUGHT SENTENCES OF 240 YEARS FOR TWO ETA TERRORISTS 
FOR AN ALLEGED 1987 ATTACK AGAINST A POLICE CONVOY.  HOWEVER, 
THE SPANISH CONSTITUTION LIMITS THE ACTUAL TIME SERVED TO A 
MAXIMUM OF 30 YEARS. 
 
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B. EXTRADITIONS 
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7.  ETA TERRORISTS RESIDE IN MANY FOREIGN NATIONS, INCLUDING 
CAPE VERDE, CUBA, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, FRANCE, SAO 
TOME E PRINCIPE, AND VENEZUELA.  OFTEN, THEY RESIDE ABROAD IN 
AN EXILE STATUS UNDER AGREEMENTS BETWEEN SPAIN AND THE HOST 
GOVERNMENT. 
 
8.  DURING 1990, SPAIN VIGOROUSLY PURSUED EFFORTS TO EXTRADITE 
ETA TERRORISTS FROM ABROAD, ESPECIALLY FROM FRANCE.  IN MAY, 
FRANCE EXTRADITED JOSE RAMON MARTINEZ DE LA FUENTE ("TZORI") TO 
SPAIN; MARTINEZ HAD BEEN DETAINED IN FRANCE IN 1985.  WITH THIS 
EXCEPTION, NO IMPORTANT ETA MEMBER RESIDENT IN FRANCE HAS BEEN 
EXTRADITED TO SPAIN. 
 
9.  IN OCTOBER 1990, FRANCE TURNED DOWN THREE MAJOR SPANISH 
EXTRADITION REQUESTS FOR ETA TERRORISTS.  ONE INVOLVED JOSE 
ANTONIO URRUTICOETXEA BENGOETXEA ("JOSU TERNERA"), WHO WAS 
CONSIDERED A MAJOR ETA LEADER AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST IN 
1988.  FRANCE DENIED THE EXTRADITION ON THE GROUNDS THAT 
MEMBERSHIP IN AN ARMED BAND WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY 
EXTRADITION.  ANOTHER EXTRADITION REQUEST, THE SEVENTH ONE 
AGAINST SANTIAGO ARROSPIDE-SARASOLA ("SANTI POTROS"), WAS 
DENIED IN OCTOBER ON THE SAME GROUNDS, EVEN AS SPAIN FILED AN 
EIGHTH EXTRADITION REQUEST.  THIS MAN HAS BEEN CONSIDERED A 
POLITICAL REFUGEE BY FRANCE SINCE 1982.  IN A THIRD DECISION, 
THIS ONE INVOLVING JOSE LUIZ ARRIETA ZUBIMENDI ("AIZCOITI"), 
THE FRENCH COURT TERMED THE SPANISH EXTRADITION "WEAK" FOR 
FAILURE TO ALLEGE AND DOCUMENT SPECIFIC CRIMINAL CHARGES WITHIN 
THE REQUIRED TIME PERIOD, BUT LEFT OPEN THE POSSIBILITY OF 
SPAIN'S STRENGTHENING THE REQUEST. 
 
10.  IN FALL 1990, SPAIN REQUESTED THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF SAO 
TOME E PRINCIPE WITHDRAW DIPLOMATIC STATUS FROM SPANISH 
NATIONAL FRANCISCO PAESA SANCHEZ, WHO WAS SUSPECTED OF BEING 
INVOLVED WITH THE GAL, IN ORDER THAT PAESA MIGHT BE EXTRADITED 
TO SPAIN.  PAESA SERVES AS REPRESENTATIVE OF SAO TOME E 
PRINCIPE TO U.N. AGENCIES IN GENEVA. 
 
11.  A MADRID COURT REPORTEDLY APPROVED IN SEPTEMBER 1989 A GOF 
REQUEST FOR THE EXTRADITION OF GEORGE MENDAILLE, ACCUSED OF 
RECRUITING GUNMEN INVOLVED IN GAL OPERATIONS IN FRANCE. 
SPANISH AUTHORITIES RELEASED MENDAILLE FROM PREVENTIVE 
DETENTION THIS SUMMER. 
 
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C. IMPEDIMENTS TO PROSECUTION OR EXTRADITION 
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12.  THE PRINCIPAL IMPEDIMENT TO EXTRADITION FROM SPAIN IS THAT 
EXTRADITION WILL NOT BE GRANTED IF THE PERSON WOULD BE SUBJECT 
TO THE DEATH PENALTY.  THIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN AVOIDED IN THE 
PAST BY AN UNDERTAKING BY THE REQUESTING COUNTRY THAT THE DEATH 
PENALTY WILL NOT BE SOUGHT IN THE CASE IN QUESTION. 
 
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D. RESPONSES TO COMBAT TERRORISM 
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13.  THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT STRONGLY AND CONSISTENTLY OPPOSES 
TERRORISM.  TERRORIST ACTS ARE VEHEMENTLY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY 
CONDEMNED BY HIGH RANKING OFFICIALS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING ANY 
DOMESTIC INCIDENT. 
 
14.  THE GOVERNMENT OF SPAIN IS WAGING A STRONG CAMPAIGN 
AGAINST DOMESTIC SUPPORT OF TERRORISM.  FOR EXAMPLE, IN EARLY 
1990, THE GOVERNMENT INSTITUTED AN INTENSE DOMESTIC CAMPAIGN 
FOR CITIZEN ASSISTANCE IN APPREHENDING THE SIX GRAPO MEMBERS 
PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCREASED GRAPO TERRORIST 
ACTIVITY IN LATE 1989 AND EARLY 1990. 
 
15.  THE GOVERNMENT OF SPAIN HAS DISPERSED ETA PRISONERS 
THROUGHOUT THE SPANISH PRISON SYSTEM, IN AN EFFORT TO ISOLATE 
SUCH PRISONERS FROM EACH OTHER AND TO DENY THEM MUTUAL 
SUPPORT.  FOLLOWING AN UPSURGE IN GRAPO ATTACKS IN LATE 1989 
AND EARLY 1990, GRAPO PRISONERS WERE ALSO DISPERSED.   WHEN 
GRAPO PRISONERS PROTESTED THIS DISPERSION BY A PROLONGED HUNGER 
STRIKE, SOME WERE FORCE-FED TO PREVENT DEATH, AN ACTION LATER 
UPHELD BY THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT AS JUSTIFIED.  SECURITY 
FORCES WERE PLACED ON HIGH ALERT AFTER ONE OF THE GRAPO HUNGER 
STRIKERS DIED, AND THEY HAVE REMAINED ON HIGH ALERT EVER SINCE. 
 
16.  THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT HAS ALSO OFFERED A LIMITED IMMUNITY 
PROGRAM FOR TERRORIST PRISONERS WHO WILL RENOUNCE THE USE OF 
FORCE.  THIS "REINSERTION PROGRAM" IS DESIGNED NOT ONLY TO 
CONVINCE INDIVIDUAL TERRORISTS TO RENOUNCE TERRORISM AS A 
POLITICAL TOOL, BUT TO DIVIDE LOYALTIES WITHIN THE TERRORIST 
GROUPS.  CURRENTLY, 17 OF THE MORE THAN 450 ETA PRISONERS HAVE 
TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THIS OFFER AND ARE BEING HELD UNDER LOW 
SECURITY CONDITIONS; IN 1989, ONLY 2 PRISONERS WERE HELD UNDER 
SUCH LOW SECURITY CONDITIONS. 
 
17.  SPAIN HAS ALSO SOUGHT TO IMPEDE FUND RAISING ACTIVITIES BY 
TERRORISTS, BY MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT TO COLLECT RANSOMS FROM 
THE FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES OF KIDNAP VICTIMS.  SPANISH LAW 
MAKES IT ILLEGAL TO "COLLABORATE" WITH TERRORISTS BY PAYING A 
RANSOM.  SEVERAL PERSONS WHO ACTED AS MIDDLEMEN IN THE PAYMENT 
OF RANSOM DEMANDS BY ETA WERE CHARGED WITH THIS OFFENSE IN 
MARCH 1990.  THEY WERE ALSO UNDER SUSPICION AS PRINCIPALS IN A 
SERIES OF KIDNAPPINGS BY ETA. 
 
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E. MAJOR COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS OF 1990 
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18.  THE MAJOR FOCUS OF SPAIN'S ANTI-TERRORISM ACTIVITIES HAS 
BEEN ETA AND GRAPO.  NONETHELESS, THE ARREST IN NOVEMBER 1989 
OF THE EIGHT HIZBALLAH TERRORISTS, TOGETHER WITH EXPLOSIVES, IN 
SPAIN BROUGHT AN INCREASED AWARENESS OF THE DANGER SUCH 
TRANSNATIONAL GROUPS MAY POSE WITHIN SPAIN.  FOR EXAMPLE, 
FOLLOWING THIS ARREST, SPAIN SPONSORED AN INTERNATIONAL 
CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS THE HIZBALLAH TERRORIST ORGANIZATION. 
SPAIN ALSO COORDINATES ITS COUNTERTERRORIST EFFORTS THROUGH ITS 
ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN THE EC'S TREVI GROUP. 
 
19.  IN 1990, BILATERAL ANTI-TERRORISM COOPERATION IMPROVED 
MOST NOTABLY WITH FRANCE.  THE MOST TANGIBLE RESULT WAS THE 
ARREST IN FRANCE AND SPAIN OF THREE OF THE FIVE LEADERS OF 
ETA'S ITINERANT COMMAND.  SPAIN ALSO CONSULTS REGULARLY ON A 
BILATERAL BASIS WITH OTHER GOVERNMENTS, INCLUDING THE UNITED 
STATES. 
 
20.  DOMESTICALLY, SPAIN HAS TRIED TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF 
ITS POLICE OPERATIONS.  COOPERATION BETWEEN REGIONAL AND 
NATIONAL POLICE FORCES HAS BEEN ESPECIALLY TARGETED AND THE 
BASQUE REGIONAL POLICE PARTICIPATED IN SOME NATIONAL POLICE 
OPERATIONS IN 1990. 
 
21.  WHEN A HIGHER THREAT OF TERRORISM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, 
SPANISH AUTHORITIES HAVE ATTEMPTED TO REDUCE THE RISK OF A 
SUCCESSFUL TERRORIST OPERATION.  FOR EXAMPLE, SECURITY IN 
GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS WAS IMPROVED IN MID-1990 FOLLOWING A RASH 
OF SUCCESSFUL LETTER AND PACKAGE BOMBS.  POLICE SECURITY IS 
MARKEDLY INCREASED FOR TOURIST SITES DURING THE SUMMER TOURIST 
SEASON; AND WHEN ETA THREATENED TO BOMB SPECIFIED RAILWAY LINES 
IN AUGUST, AS IT HAD DONE IN THE PAST, PASSENGER TRAFFIC WAS 
DIVERTED TO OTHER LINES WHENEVER POSSIBLE, IN ADDITION TO OTHER 
PRECAUTIONS.   MORE RECENTLY, SECURITY AROUND U.S. AND SEVERAL 
OTHER FOREIGN INSTALLATIONS WAS INCREASED BECAUSE OF A HIGHER 
THREAT LEVEL OF MIDDLE EASTERN TERRORISM ARISING FROM EVENTS IN 
THE GULF. 
 
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F.  GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM 
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22.  THE GOS DOES NOT SUPPORT, FINANCIALLY OR DIPLOMATICALLY, 
INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.  THE PLO MAINTAINS A 
REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE IN MADRID, BUT THAT OFFICE DOES NOT HAVE 
DIPLOMATIC STATUS.  IN THE UNITED NATIONS, THE GOS HAS OPPOSED 
OBSERVER STATUS FOR THE PLO, AND THE GOS SUPPORTS EC SANCTIONS 
AGAINST LIBYA. 
 
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G. PUBLIC STATEMENTS SUPPORTING TERRORISM 
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23.  THE GOS DOES NOT MAKE PUBLIC STATEMENTS IN SUPPORT OF A 
TERRORIST-SUPPORTING COUNTRY ON TERRORISM ISSUES. 
 
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H. CHANGES IN SPANISH ATTITUDES TOWARDS TERRORISM 
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24.  DOMESTIC COUNTERTERRORISM, AIMED PRIMARILY AT ETA AND 
GRAPO, IS AN HIGH, PRIORITY EFFORT.  OTHER TERRORIST THREATS 
HAVE NOT TRADITIONALLY BEEN VIEWED AS IMMEDIATE.  HOWEVER, THE 
ARREST OF HIZBALLAH MEMBERS AND SEIZURE OF EXPLOSIVES IN 
NOVEMBER 1989 RAISED THE THREAT OF MIDDLE EAST TERRORISM IN 
SPAIN. 
 
25.  WITH THE ADVENT OF THE 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES IN BARCELONA AND 
THE WORLD'S FAIR IN SEVILLE, SPAIN IS INCREASINGLY AWARE AND 
CONCERNED ABOUT THE RISK OF TERRORIST ATTACKS IN CONNECTION 
WITH THOSE EVENTS.  IN THIS REGARD, ETA THREATENED IN 1990 TO 
DISRUPT THE WORLD'S FAIR AND SENT A PACKAGE BOMB TO THE 
EXECUTIVE OFFICES OF THE WORLD'S FAIR IN SEVILLE. 
 
 
ZAPPALA 

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