• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Madrid Airport Bombing Blamed on ETA

A car bomb was set off this morning at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport.

Spain has blamed a powerful bomb explosion at the country’s busiest airport Saturday on Basque separatist group ETA, declaring it a violation of a nine-month cease-fire.

Several people suffered minor injuries when a stolen van exploded in a parking lot near terminal four at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport, which had been evacuated after police received a warning. One man is reported missing after the explosion. If found dead, he would be the first fatality caused by ETA in three years.

Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the government condemned the attack, “which breaks nine months without violence on the part of ETA, which breaks the permanent ceasefire.”

It is worth noting that the government blamed the March 2004 Madrid commuter train bombing on ETA, too, when it was in fact set off by an al Qaeda affiliate.

Related Posts:

  • None Found

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. I WOULDN’T READ too much -well, anything at all- into the March 11 precedent regarding yesterday’s car bomb in Madrid’s airport, as James Joyner and PoliBlog do. There’s no way it could be the first manifestation of the ‘payback’ for Saddam’s hanging, only a couple or three hours after. The modus operandi was clearly ETA’s, particularly for the fact that the culprits warned in advance by

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. DC Loser says:

    It’s not AQ’s modus operandi to warn of the bombing so there can be an evacuation beforehand. This does sound like something the ETA would perform to make a political statement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. James Joyner says:

    True enough. I’m just skeptical of the Spanish governments pronouncements on these things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. spencer says:

    It also was a different government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Acha says:

    After the assassinations in Plame’s Iraq – ‘Vanity Fair’ admission – the Madrid bombing followed and the US ally was on its way out of Iraq. The connection between the Basque terrorists responding to Al Qaeda in Iraq or ‘Saddam’s Loyalist Police’ might be found in how a CIA operations officer works. Plame used persons backgrounds for her assignment in Iraq. Wilson’s background was growing up in Spain with his Diplomat(operations officer) father. So, ‘Basques’ might be the answer following the Iraq police assassinations in Iraq. It’s the same pattern, following an operations officers pattern, using the ‘informants’ past. Al Qaeda and the Iraq police were just following the same pattern and it worked. The Spanish government fell and pulled out of Iraq. The new President gets a gold medal from Congress given by the new member of the intelligence committee picked by Pelosi. It’s payment for the intelligence work and ‘sticking’ with the US in spite of the Madrid bombing.

    The new bombing is confusing because of the murder of Saddam. Spain seems to indicate – based on the pre trial intelligence and investigation of the Madrid bombing, followed by the assassination and arrests of Iraqi police when the investigation was over and went to trial – that it was Saddam loyalists in the Iraqi police that did the original assassinations of operations officers in Iraq, who probably had a history with Plame and Wilson, after the ‘Vanity Fair’ admission. In fact, it may have been a separate deal between Al in Iraq and the ‘basques.’ The connection in Wilson’s background is a little too much to pass up, unless Al in Iraq simply outsourced the work or offered to do it themselves. It has become more common for groups like Hezbollah to farm out work to Tamil Tigers and Al to farm out work to older, domestic, terror networks like Basques with a political agenda that fits in with the Al agenda in Iraq-getting Spain out of the war.

    The statement here may be one of support by the ‘Basques’ of Saddam and his ‘loyalist police,’or simply Al in Iraq responding to Saddam’s murder. The idea that it is domestic terrorists is a good solution for Al Qaeda and the CIA. The truce may have never been with the ETA or Basques, but Al in Iraq.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. […] In response to the story, James Joyner notes: It is worth noting that the government blamed the March 2004 Madrid commuter train bombing on ETA, too, when it was in fact set off by an al Qaeda affiliate. […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Triumph says:

    It is worth noting that the government blamed the March 2004 Madrid commuter train bombing on ETA, too, when it was in fact set off by an al Qaeda affiliate.

    It is worth noting that the “Spanish Government” during the March 2004 bombing was controled by a wildly unpopular Jose Maria Aznar–who was a strong supporter of Bush’s war and the idiotic idea that invading random countries will stop terrorism.

    Zapatero’s negotiaons with ETA have been stonewalled for weeks. ETA is using its typical modus operandi to push the government into concessions.

    To say “I’m just skeptical of the Spanish governments pronouncements on these things,” is silly since it reflects a total ignorance of the changed government and interntal political situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. As side says:

    The wildly unpopular government would be something to coup in Plame’s CIA. The considerations in Iraq and the ally there apparently were not important.

    The new government is getting Congressional gold medals from Pelosi’s new members of the intelligence committee and may reflect a ‘friendlier’ position with the ‘Basques’ and friends that got them into power.

    As far as the ‘shoemaker’s negotiations,’ maybe it’s someone else using ETA modus things like CIA operations officers in Iraq?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Another Madrid bombing…

    In terrorist speak that means- “Concede all our demands or we keep up the violence.” Terrorists are fanatics and rarely seek compromises….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. MichaelB says:

    The ‘wildly unpopular government’ was leading in the polls, and expected to win prior to the Madrid bombings. Indeed to call it ‘wildly unpopular’ is frankly absurd – the election itself was very close.

    As for blaming ETA, it was a natural reaction then and it is a natural reaction now. After all, ETA commits most terrorist attacks in Spain. The presumption that ‘ETA did it’ is both normal and sensible, provided of course you don’t close your mind to the possibility that the evidence leads somewhere else. With the train bombing, it did. Whether it does here remains to be seen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Triumph says:

    The ‘wildly unpopular government’ was leading in the polls, and expected to win prior to the Madrid bombings. Indeed to call it ‘wildly unpopular’ is frankly absurd – the election itself was very close.

    The election was not “very close.” The People’s Party lost 39 seats in the Congress of Deputies while their Convergence and Unity allies lost a third of its seats. Aznar was facing 94% disapproval of Spain’s involvement in the Iraq war even before the Madrid bombing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. jpe says:

    As for blaming ETA, it was a natural reaction then

    Not really, because of the difference in M.O.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. MichaelB says:

    Disapproval of Spain’s involvement in the Iraq war, and disapproval of the Spanish government are not the same thing. Fortunately we have actual election results to measure the latter.

    As per wikipedia the ‘wildly unpopular government’ received a little more then 38% of the vote. Their opponents received a little more then 43%. A 5% difference is a win, but certainly close. In the seat count, it was 164-148. A week before the elections the polls were predicting that the results would be roughly switched.

    I suppose you may think that this was not at all close, in which case we differ on the definition of close. But it sure doesn’t seem to me to be a landslide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Christopher says:

    Triumph:

    Sure looks like Bush’s “idiotic idea that invading random countries will stop terrorism” has worked well for the US, and backing out of the war has worked badly for Spain.

    Plus, Aznar is one of the smartest guys around-too bad the Spanish people acted like such cowards throwing him out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Draining the Swamp…

    The Hill is reporting that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has taken responsibility for a series of ethics violations involving his most recent campaign……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0