|This article appeared in the November 17, 1995 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
ETA: the 'mother' of
If one had to choose the single most typical model of the British ethnic-separatist terrorist movement, it would be the Basque group known as ETA. Why?
- Basque separatism was created originally around a manufactured ethnic identity, in the cauldron of race scientists and ethnologists who were working in the British orbit in such centers as Leipzig, Vienna, and Paris around the turn of the present century, and who worked through the Basque priest José Miguel de Barandiarán (1889-1980).
- This artificially created identity has been used to foment terrorist irregular warfare on London's behalf, as shown in the handiwork of the French ethnologist Paul Rivière, who participated in concocting the ideology both for ETA and for the savage Peruvian narco-terrorist band, Shining Path.
- It provided a perfect vehicle for undermining the nation-state, thus serving British geopolitical aims on the continent of Europe. Not only Spain, whose Basque provinces were a center for industrial development that threatened British economic hegemony, but also France, which has its own Basque country, were in the crosshairs. British authorship has been recognized by leading Spaniards: Prime Minister Carrero Blanco, before his assassination at the hands of ETA in 1973, wrote a letter to Francisco Franco, the Spanish head of State, charging that it was Spain's purported "allies," the British, who were promoting ETA.
- By promoting the "Black Legend"the historical distortion that presented Catholic Spain and Spaniards as uniquely cruel and destructive in their colonization effortsthe ETA model also gave Britain a weapon against the power and influence of Spain in its former colonies in the Americas, utilizing such stooges as Theodore Roosevelt.
Name: Euskadiko Ta Askatasuna; acronym ETA: "Euskadi (Basque Provinces) and Freedom."
Headquarters: They have no offices. Herri Batasuna, the electoral front, is, however, a legal political party.
When founded: 1959.
Major terrorist actions:
Dec. 21, 1973: The prime minister of Spain, Admiral Carrero Blanco, along with his bodyguards, is murdered on his way to mass. This is claimed by ETA. Spanish nationalists and diplomats have repeatedly charged, however, that the decision to murder Carrero was taken by the group around then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, as part of their project to bring about the end of the nation-state.
Sept. 13, 1974: Cafetería Rolando, a bomb attack leaves 14 dead in Madrid.
July 29, 1979: Bomb attacks in the train stations of Chamartín and Atocha, and Barajas airport, Madrid.
Feb. 1, 1980: Grenades launched against a Civil Guard convoy kill six guardsmen in Ispaster, Vizcaya.
April 25, 1986: Car bomb against five Civil Guardsmen, who are all killed in their jeep in Madrid.
July 14, 1986: Plaza de la República Dominicana, Madrid, car bomb against three Civil Guard vehicles, kills 12.
June 19, 1987: Hipercor supermarket at Barcelona, car bomb in the parking lot leaves 21 dead, 30 wounded.
Dec. 11, 1987: At Zaragoza, a car bomb explodes against the living quarters of the Civil Guardsmen. Eleven guardsmen and five of their children are killed.
Dec. 8, 1990: At Sabadell (Catalonia), a car bomb explodes, killing six policemen.
May 29, 1991: At Vic (Catalonia), a kamikaze car bomb is launched against the living quarters of guardsmen. Four guardsmen die, and five of their children are also killed.
Feb. 6, 1992: Forty kilos of explosives and shrapnel in a car bomb, kill four officers and a civil official in Madrid, at Plaza de la Cruz Verde.
ETA and the military: Since 1982, many high military officials who had accepted posts under the Socialist government, were murdered in cold blood on the streets, including a director general of defense policy. The aim appears to have been to play upon the extreme sensitivity of the military to being ruled by people who "lost the Civil War," by showing that the Socialist Interior Ministry was unable to protect the State's highest officials.
Leaders' names and aliases: There is no real leader of ETA today, in the sense that Federico Krutwig (see Controllers/mentors, below) was its leader until the 1970s. The two chiefs of operations today, according to specialists consulted, appear to be Mikel Albizu, believed an alumnus of the Sorbonne, and Iñaki Rentería, both living in Paris. As they are underground and have several sets of false identities, the authorities do not appear to be wittingly tolerant of their presence on French soil. As ETA has increasingly been transformed into an international posse of mercenaries, with the base of operations increasingly outside Spain, the role of this leadership has diminished.
Groups allied internationally or nationally: In 1972, ETA signed an agreement of mutual aid with Kurdish separatists and with the Irish Republican Army. The role of Algeria, Libya, and Mexico is mentioned in the thumbnail history below.
The contact with the future Zapatistas is believed to have been made in the Nicaraguan camps run by Tomás Borge, former Sandinista interior minister. The presence of Etarras (ETA cadre) in virtually every terrorist group of South America has been noted by specialists on that continent (see "Spain's ETA Sets Up 'Kidnappers, Inc.' " in the previous installment of this Special Report, published in EIR, Nov. 10, 1995, p. 13).
During the 1970s, the Basque movement was the starring element of the "Peoples Without a Nation" movement, which in Europe was based in Perpignan, France (on the Spanish border), around the Benedictine monk Aureli Argemi. This movement, which churned out a great number of "scholarly" pamphlets and studies in which linguistics played a great role, did not shrink from justifying "direct action." It included Corsicans, Sardinians, Breton so-called nationalists, Provençal separatists, and of course, Catalans. At this time, the Catalan terrorist group Terra Lliure (Our Earth) was formed, which perpetrated some of the most cowardly and brutal murders ever seen in Europe.
Religious/ideological/ethnic motivating ideology: "Basque nationalism" used the separatist wing of the Catholic Church in the Basque countrytraditionally the stronghold of the Jesuits since the Society of Jesus was founded by the Basque soldier Ignatius of Loyola in the early 1500s. Around 1913, Father José Miguel de Barandiarán, a paleontologist and professor of history of religions, worked out a new, synthetic religion, drawing upon pre-Christian belief structures, called Gentilism, as opposed to the Semitic monotheistic religions originating in the Middle East. The Gentile is the pre-Christian Basque, the only racially pure Aryan remaining in western Europe.
This concoction became the ideological underpinning of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) which had been founded earlier by Sabino de Arana Goiri (1865-1903), and which later gave birth, out of its youth wing, to ETA.
Known controllers/mentors/theoreticians. De Barandiarán worked with a Basque phrenologist and biologist, Telésforo de Aranzadi Unamuno, who traveled with him throughout Europe visiting the chief race scientists.
Since the war, an important role was played by anthropologist and sociologist Julio Caro Baroja, who was put to study under de Barandiarán and de Aranzadi by the world-famous novelist Pío Baroja; at Oxford in the 1950s he was a disciple of Prof. E.E. Evans-Pritchard, the expert on witchcraft in primitive societies.
Federico Krutwig Sagredo (b. 1921), a linguistician, now head of the Hellenic Academy of Vasconia, authored the guerrilla warfare strategy of ETA, and transformed ETA from a think-tank at Deusto University called EKIN, into a full-blown assassins club. He understood that ETA cadre should be recruited principally from the fertile ground prepared by priests like de Barandiarán among the most backward peasant elements and unskilled manual laborers. The son of a German industrialist and a Basque woman who was a "daughter of an extremely old Venetian family," Krutwig Sagredo has been reported, variously, to have worked for virtually every major secret service, including the East Germans and the Chinese. He was president of the Academy of the Basque Language in 1953. The Basque bible is his Vasconia (1963). His thesis was that for the separation of the Basque provinces to succeed, ethnic and linguistic identity must take precedence over the political. Krutwig's references were Marxist-Leninist; he applied to the "revolutionist struggle," the lessons of the operations of Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh, and of the French counter-guerrilla expert, Trinquier.
Xavier Arzalluz: now President of the PNV, a former Jesuit seminarian, former president of the Basque provinces. Neither condemning nor condoning terrorism, his publicly expressed view is that the deaths are unfortunate, to be regretted, but understandable given the nature of the "oppressive" Spanish state. Arzalluz and the more openly pro-terror Herri Batasuna press for the same aims and objectives as ETA: the dissolution of Spain and the separation of the Basque provinces.
Number of cadres: ETA has been almost entirely dismantled, and rebuilt, several times, e.g., 1963 and 1975. At the time of writing, there are 500 Etarras in Spanish jails. According to specialists, the number of actual terrorists would be not more than 50 in Spain, and there would be not more than five trained gunmen. This would mean there are about 10 extant commando units, each composed of between four to six people.
Since 1982, when the Socialists came to power, several hundred Etarras were taken manu militari from Spain on Interior Ministry flights, and dispersed to Cape Verde (off the Coast of Senegal), São Tomé (off West Africa), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and various South American countries in pursuance of the policy of Rafael Vera and Julián Sancristóbal, respectively secretary and undersecretary of state for the interior until 1994.
The commandos operating in Spain, are based in France, as is the 200-300 person support network. Support for ETA among the intellectual elite is much more pronounced in France than in Spain. The safehouses are located in France. Following the successive waves of crackdown since the Giscard Presidency, the safehouses have been moved farther and farther from the border. Brittany is now an important center.
The ETA electoral front, Herri Batasuna, controls about 20% of the vote in the Basque Provinces, and can bring up to 200,000 persons out into the street in wild demonstrations.
Spanish America would now appear to be the epicenter of ETA.
Training background. During World War II, the Pyrenees were a kind of no-man's land. The principal escape route from the Gestapo out of western Europe, was to flee into Spain, where Franco, advised by Admiral Canaris, head of the Abwehr, maintained an "open-door, closed-eye" policy. Thousands escaped certain death at Nazi hands in this way.
American and British commandos were dropped into the Pyrenees, in pursuit of their wartime missions. However, the British, and certain American factions, had another agenda for the postwar period: Like occupied Germany after the war, France and Spain were to be "reconstructed." The nation-state of Spain would have to be torn down, and Franco overthrown.
During the war, these Anglo-Saxon commandos established certain contacts in the Pyrenees to convey munitions and arms. A small number, perhaps 10-15 specialists, stayed behind after the end of the war. They were in contact with Republican networks on both sides of the border. This is well shown by Gregorio Morán in his book Los españoles que dejaron de serlo (The Spaniards Who Are Spaniards No Longer), published around 1975. These commandos were the seed for ETA.
In the 1960s and into the mid-'70s, Etarras were being trained in Libya, in Algeria (central barracks of the land army), and in Palestinian camps. At that time, there was a significant Soviet input into Herri Batasuna, And there were also rumors that Etarras had been trained in East Germany.
Known drug connections: The Basque Provinces have one of the highest proportions of narcotics addicts relative to the population in the western world, higher even than New York or Glasgow.
Around 1985-86, a medical doctor attached to the Health Services of the Government of Vizcaya Province, held several press conferences at Bilbao, where he said that he had arrived at the conviction that ETA was principally a narcotics-trafficking network. He alleged that ETA financed its terrorist activities through the sale of narcotics. TIR trucks from Holland and Belgium were alleged to be a main source of these substances.
Otherwise, the narcotics trade in Spain is controlled by the Colombian cartels.
Known arms suppliers/routes: In the 1960s, weapons procurement for ETA, was simply on the international black market. The British-made Sten gun was used in many attacks; the Israeli "Maretta," and the famous Czech hand guns, also. Today, the weapons mainly used are the Firebird and the Sisauer gun. In the late 1980s, a great many attacks were by grenade launcher; this was the Belgian-made Mecar.
The principal source of weapons for ETA in the 1970s and 1980s, was the Fabrique Nationale Herstal in Belgium. Apparently a cell in FNH purloined the weapons and got them out on TIR trucks. Belgium has been, since the Spanish Civil War, an important center for Republican refugees, just as it was a recruitment center for communists leaving to fight on the Republican side. Not only Ernst Mandel's Trotskyites but a gaggle of extreme-left and extreme-right groups, including fanatical right-wing Flemish separatist organizations form the screen behind which terrorist operations can be run.
Czech explosives, before the fall of communism, were used in a number of bomb attacks. Before 1989, i.e., before the bargain-basement sale of East bloc weapons systems, which has made their appearance commonplace, there were almost always to be found in caches, weapons and munitions from East bloc countries.
Known political supporters/advocates: The founders of ETA, Julen de Madariaga, Federico Krutwig Sagredo, Alvarez Emparanza "Beltza" and their associates, were all at or around the Jesuit University of Deusto in 1950. This is the university which historically has trained the Basque elite.
Political support for ETA, came from certain lawyers' collectives for "human rights," around the person of Fernando de Salas (died 1993), founder of the main civil liberties group. These lawyers' collectives, linked to the Anglo-Saxon Liberal circles which had forced out Juan Antonio Suances from the Industry Ministry in 1958, sprang up, with Anglo-Saxon backing and publicity, in the 1960s; their task was to focus opposition to Spanish leader Francisco Franco, using examples of police brutality as their springboard.
De Salas's group, whose mouthpiece was the Madrid daily newspaper El País in the 1980s, ran a strident campaign against the Civil Guard, the police, and the judicial authorities in the Basque Provinces, presented as hangovers from the Franquist state, ergo, "fascists." El País has on its board, Jesús Aguirre, a defrocked Jesuit married to one of the most powerful women in Spain, the Duchess of Alba, and the man who launched the Conservative Revolution platform in Spain, Ortega y Spottorno, the son of writer José Ortega y Gasset.
Another board member is Jesús de Polanco, head of a textbook publishing empire in South America. His brother was a prominent businessman in Mexico.
At present, ETA's biggest political crutch is the press group, El Mundo, owned by Italian financier Gianni Agnelli and by the London Guardian. Beginning in 1987, the newspaper El Mundo has run a campaign to tear down the structure of State security, by systematically watergating the key policemen, Civil Guardsmen, and Interior Ministry officials involved in the anti-terror struggle. A specialty of El Mundo is publishing documents pilfered from the headquarters of military intelligence. The director of El Mundo, Pedro J. Ramírez, was formerly director of Diario 16, an intelligence leak-sheet. About five or six years ago, Ramírez made a number of trips to France to meet with ETA leaders such as Txomin, with whom he later published interviews.
Narcotics traffic: Between approximately 1990 and 1994, possibly corresponding to the fall of communism, about 20 people were assassinated in the Basque Provinces by ETA, which had targeted them by posters and wall writings, as alleged "dope dealers." Some of the victims are said to have been eliminated because they were freelancing onto ETA's patch of the dope racket.
"Revolutionary tax": extortion letters regularly go out to every businessman in the Basque Provinces. It is believed that almost all firms in the Basque Provinces pay to this protection racket. Only 18 businessmen are known to have gone to the police to protest. In the last two years, over 100 Madrid business leaders have also received extortion letters, but in Madrid, they went to the police.
The extortion racket is based on the French side of the border. Every weekend, businessmen would cross over with large sums in cash, and pay them to middlemen of the border towns. This was quite open until about 1985. The income of the revolutionary tax must be estimated, conservatively, at several tens of millions of dollars a year. It would appear to make its way, according to specialists, mainly to South America via Caribbean banks.
A network of businesses: These include restaurant chains, in Spanish America, which are money-laundering fronts (see EIR, Nov. 10, p. 15). There are well-known ones in Punta del Este and Montevideo (Uruguay).
4) Kidnapping: Over the last 20 years, dozens of prominent businessmen, and in some cases their children, have been kidnapped. Ransom monies amounting to millions, in some cases tens of millions of dollars, have been paid over the French side of the border. In the kidnapping of wealthy Mexicans, such as Harp Helu in April 1994, the ETA was mentioned as a possible agency. In the Losada kidnapping in Mexico, there seems to be little doubt that ETA was involved. The Spanish businessmen abducted or subjected to the "revolutionary tax" in Mexico, were not Basque.
Thumbnail historical profile: The Basque Provinces are known as "Provincia de Loyola." The Basque-born Ignacio de Loyola "got revelation" for his future mission, at the Benedictine Monastery of Lazcano, which also seems to have informed the "theology" of de Barandiarán. Lazcano was stormed by the Civil Guard on orders of Franco in the late 1950s, for harboring terrorists.
Nothing was ever written in book form in the Basque language, until the year 1534. In the seventeenth century, the Jesuits chose to work among the villagers in remote areas, with newly translated missals in Basque. This language, a historical curiosity, had no written form until that time. It is estimated that not more than 3% of the Basque population speak that language as their native tongue, and then, only in the most remote and inaccessible areas. Only 15% of the population could be described as somewhat "bilingual," although the PNV has got a frenetic campaign going to force people to send their children to Basque language classes.
In the 1890s, a wealthy, socially prominent Basque, Sabino de Arana (1865-1903), son of a notorious Carlist leader, also "got revelation." His credo filled in the Oxford anthropologists' mastersheet with Basque references: The Basques were a superior race. The Spaniards, particularly the Andalusians (maketos or "darkies"), were a racially impure nightmare. The Basques should develop their own alphabet and orthography.
Sabino de Arana was denounced, in his day, by other Basque industrialists, as an obscurantist madman in foreign employ. However, he had access to almost unlimited funds, and was able to launch, in 1894, the Partido Nacionalista Vasco, PNV.
The Basque Provinces, though ringed by the redoubtable Pyrenees, are no bucolic backwater. As the crossing point into France, these provinces were, historically, the most imbued with French ideas about the State, and about the necessity for industry, science, and, generally, progress. The discovery of a great quantity of iron ore made Bilbao into an industrial center, by the end of the eighteenth century. That city also has a marvelous deep-water port, which is now containerized and very modern.
Clever, disciplined, and very hard-working, the Basques also developed during the twentieth century, a mountain agriculture which is a chief supplier of hard cheese and first-class pork products to the rest of Spain.
England was not happy with the industrial development of Spain. By the late nineteenth century, it was pursuing a policy of getting direct control over the great iron mines and steel mills, by marrying off its daughters to the heirs to the Basque steel fortunes, and buying its way into the Basque banking structures and newspapers. At one point, 70% of all iron ore from the Basque Provinces made its way to England. In Catalonia, British intelligence operated through the alumni of the Free School of Ensenanza, a nursery for Anglophile, Liberal politicians, tying Catalonia to it by a thousand personal and cultural affinities. In the Basque Provinces, England finally opted for far more radical methods.
The PNV played a key role in the British geopolitical gameplan for world domination: Its job was to weaken Spain from within so that Britain could dismantle Spain's remaining power in its former colonies with the assistance of the British Empire's American stooge, Theodore Roosevelt. The "Roosevelt Corollary" of the Monroe Doctrine was the use of military force against republics which were considered inferior because they were Catholic and allegedly rejected the Protestant notion of progress.
Arana was ecstatic over the U.S. victory in the Teddy Roosevelt-led Spanish-American War against Spain in the Caribbean and Philippines, writing: "The more Spain is ruined and prostrate, the more closely we can hope for our triumph.... If we were to see this Latin nation torn to pieces by an internal conflagration or an international war, we would celebrate this with enjoyment and true glee." Leaving no doubt as to the intended beneficiary of this anti-Spanish rage, the PNV adopted a green version of the British Union Jack as its flag.
Under political leader Joaquín Costa (1880 and 1890s) and strongman Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-30), great infrastructure projects were launched in Spain. This was not the best recruiting period for an anti-Spanish movement.
During the Civil War (1937-38), for a number of reasons, the Basque Provinces tended toward the Republican side. Brutal behavior by the Nationalists during the war, and most especially, the savagery of the Requetes (declared Carlists, provocateurs fighting on the Nationalist side) turned the Basque Provinces against Madrid.
In 1913, José Miguel de Barandiarán left for Leipzig, to study the Psychology of Peoples under Professor Wundt. By 1919, he was the Ethnology correspondent of Professor Schmidt's Anthropos review in Vienna. In 1921, the Society for Eusko-Folklore was set up. A close contact was Paul Rivière, the French ethnographer of the Musée de l'Homme, who created Peru's Shining Path. Under the German occupation of France, de Barandiarán moved to Biarritz. The Frankfurt am Main race science Research Institute for Cultural Morphology invited him to contribute articles on a regular basis, in 1941.
The Basques themselves were not psychologically prepared to push for independence, nor would any Spanish leader, whether Costa, Primo de Rivera, or Franco, stand for it. So, a shift in the belief structure of the intellectual classes had to be prepared. Emphasis was laid on the magical, on witchcraft, a sign of Basque originality, as one can see from the works of Julio Caro Baroja, most instrumental in this paradigm shift.
ETA itself emerged at Deusto University at Vitoria out of a group called Ekin (Action), formed at Deusto in 1952; the original members included Federico Krutwig Sagredo ("Francisco Sarrailh"), Benito del Valle, Alvarez Emparanza ("Txillardegui"), and Julen Madariaga. They merged with the youth sector of the PNV in 1955, Euzko Gastedi. At first, this was a "non-confessional patriotic movement." On July 31, 1959, ETA was founded.
1960: World Basque Congress: Krutwig stands up and calls for "guerrilla war" to "free" the provinces. Pandemonium breaks out. Enbata, the French Basque movement, is formed. It is outlawed and dissolved by President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 1974.
1961: First terrorist attempt by ETA; a train fails to derail. Arrests and repression, as planned, follow.
May 1962: The first ETA assembly models the movement on Algeria, Cuba, and Vietnam.
March 1963: The second ETA assembly includes delegates from other European and Ibero-American countries. Leader "Goitziri" publishes their bible, Insurrección.
1964: Third ETA assembly: Goitziri explains that money and propaganda must precede armed struggle and revolutionist war.
1965: Several hundred thousand pesetas are stolen at gun-point from a bank employee at San Sebastián. Krutwig introduces Vietnamese methods and calls himself a Marxist-Leninist. The fourth ETA assembly decides to deliberately engage the spiral of action-repression.
1966: Zumalde "El Cabra," a dissident member of ETA, goes out into the hills of Onate with a group of fellow terrorists to prepare armed actions. Among them, is something which the EZLN is later to practice: the occupation of an entire village, using only three real machine guns. The 27 others were of paint and pasteboard.
1967: ETA carries out its first bank robbery. At the fifth ETA assembly, the faction known as ETA-Zarra wins: All contact to other Spanish extreme groups should be broken off in favor of a Basque-only policy. "Txabi" and "Beltza" emerge as the new leaders. Symbols of Spain's Phalange party are attacked all over the Basque Provinces. Krutwig and Madariaga flee Spain into exile. Communist influence rises in the trade unions as wages are frozen and strikes break out.
1968: The police chief Melitón Manzanas is murdered before his wife and daughter on the steps of his home. ETA refers to the Uruguayan Tupamaros: Popular struggle and armed struggle are "one and the same."
1970: At the Burgos Trial, Franco puts 20 Etarras at once on trial and demands the death penalty, but backs down following a worldwide uproar. Sixth ETA assembly expels Madariaga and Krutwig as dissidents. ETA propaganda against the maketos ("darkies"), the Andalusians, in the Basque police force, is intense.
1971: Basque industrialist Zabala is kidnapped, purportedly to support workers in a union conflict. An internal debate arises in ETA: Should only "Spanish" industrialists be kidnapped, or also "Basque"? The decision, clearly guided by the British move to deindustrialize the Basque Provinces, was to destroy Basque industry by terrorizing its leaders and forcing them to flee the province. Since 1971, some 25% of all industries have left, and a still higher proportion of all qualified engineers and professionals.
1973: Felipe Huarte is kidnapped, again on the pretext of supporting a labor conflict. Fifty million pesetas ransom are demanded. The Huarte family was the wealthiest in Navarre, which ETA claims is Basque. The only Spanish group which refuses to condemn the terror attacks is the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR).
1973: The Spanish government decides to build the first Basque atomic reactor in the Basque Provinces, Lemoniz. Westinghouse and Iberduero are involved. Three more Basque reactors were to be built. ETA goes "green." Graffiti goes up in Basque language: Zentral Nuklearik EZ, "No to the Nuclear Reactor."
1977: In December, ETA attacks the reactor, scaling the high walls.
1978: Thirty bomb and other attacks are carried out against Iberduero. Over the next decade, the chief engineers of the project are murdered, but the reactor is built. The Navarre-Basque highway is subjected to a similar ETA campaign, but it is also completed in 1995 after a 10-year effort, during which two engineers are murdered.
1979: The government of Adolfo Suárez, in approving the text of the new Spanish Constitution, makes the former provinces into autonomies. Each Autonomy will have a president. The word "nation" is used ambiguously in two different meanings: the Spanish nation, and supposedly within it, the Basque and Catalan "nations."
About 500 people had been killed by the time Franco died in 1975. But, when Franco died, how to present the terrorism of ETA as an "anti-fascist" movement? The terror attacks became directed against all organs of the State, the new enemy. This "justified" continuing the attacks after the Socialist Party came to power in 1982.
By now, about 1,000 people have been murdered. Since the Socialist Party came to power in 1982, the attacks have become ever more terrible and in the mode of blind terror.
Recent strategy: Over the last three years or so, the strategy has shifted to one of intimidating the Basque people as a whole. "Wanted" posters went up this year all over Pamplona, which is in Navarre and therefore not Basque, showing Jaime Ignacio del Burgo, the head of the [PP] there, in the sights of a rifle. During elections this summer (1995), similar posters went up all over the Basque Provinces, targeting King Juan Carlos, Prime Minister Felipe González, and other leading figures.
At these elections, Herri Batasuna poll watchers arrived wearing t-shirts with pro-ETA messages. Thanks to KAS and LAB, its youth and labor fronts, respectively, ETA and Herri Batasuna have got spy networks throughout the most volatile sector of the population. Within minutes, they can bring a threatening crowd out into the streets. Over the last year, virtually every weekend there have been riots by masked Batasuneros against the police forces. Millions of dollars of damage have been done to State property.
Some specialists believe that ETA is now sending "the base" (about 3,000 people) out into the streets, because the decision has been taken to keep only a small number of actual terrorists, operational inside Spain.