Mark A. Kilmer says he doesn’t think the bombing in Spain was done by the ETA. I agree, though we may both be proven wrong.
Here’s why I don’t think the ETA was behind the attack.
While the ETA has gone after people before, it has usually targetted politicians in the Barcelona area. It has also been quick to take credit for the crimes. It has never undertaken a large scale bombing.
There is a group out there, however, that has taken on large scale attacks and also has not immediately taken credit. You know that group as Al Queda (or however the hell you spell it).
Now, that said, the ETA has tried to bomb train stations before and Spain is in election season.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations the ETA targets
[m]ostly national and regional officials and government buildings in Spain. In 1973, ETA operatives killed the aging dictator Francisco Franco’s apparent successor, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, by planting an underground bomb below his habitual parking spot outside a Madrid church. In 1995, an ETA car bomb almost killed Jose Maria Aznar, then leader of the conservative Popular Party and now Spain’s prime minister. The same year, investigators disrupted a plot to assassinate King Juan Carlos. And in 1999, Spanish investigators foiled a truck bombing of Madrid’s Picasso Tower, a skyscraper designed by the architect of the World Trade Center.
In addition to these ambitious targets, ETA has also targeted many regional officials and institutions in Basque regions, and in recent years ETA has also targeted journalists and civilians. Spanish officials arrested two ETA militants in December 2003, broke up plots to detonate two bombs at Madrid train stations, and discovered two bombs at Aragon train stations. About eight hundred people have been killed as a result of ETA violence since the 1960s.
The ETA may have done this. The “plots to detonate two bombs at Madrid train stations” in 2003, sounds identical to today’s attack. But, I think we should not jump to the conclusion that it was ETA without some more evidence. Also, all of ETA’s massive scale operations have been disrupted. This attack took coordination and heavy lifting to a degree ETA has never been able to keep hidden.
The Associated Press is reporting that “the interior minister said other lines of investigation were opened after police found a van with detonators and an audiotape of Quranic verses near where the bombed trains originated. . . .Police found a van with detonators and an Arabic-language tape with Quranic verses in the town of Alcala de Henares, 15 miles east of Madrid, Interior Minister Angel Acebes said Thursday night, saying all lines of investigation were open.”