Spain Bombings: Blame Disputed

Reuters: UN Council Condemns ETA in Blast on Spain’s Word

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned the Basque separatist group ETA as the perpetrators of the deadly bombings in Spain, although members had no way of determining the veracity of the charge.

Despite some hesitations over the resolution, members voted 15-0 to accept the word of the Spanish government, which immediately blamed the ETA for the simultaneous explosions that killed 190 people and injured more than 1,200 on packed trains in Madrid.

The resolution “condemns in the strongest terms the bomb attacks in Madrid, Spain, perpetrated by the terrorist group ETA on 11 March 2004, in which many lives were claimed and people injured, and regard such act, like any act of terrorism, as a threat to peace and security.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks across the Spanish capital three days before a national election. But Spain, which has a seat on the council, insisted ETA was to blame and brushed aside suggestions Muslim militants, angry at Madrid’s support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq, were behind the attacks.

Via Laurence Simon

Interestingly, Dan Drezner immediately believed al Qaeda the more likely culprit, though this article from The Economist made a persuasive case that it was indeed ETA, and now isn’t so sure.

Update: Michael J. Totten thinks al Qaeda is much more likely to have done it, observing that “The Basque ETA has never been even remotely this bloodthirsty.”

Update: Joe Gandleman has lots more.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Fox news is saying AQ is taking credit in a letter. i wouldn’t doubt this was a double team.