Spain: Figures on anti-terrorist operations released
01 January 2005
On 5 January 2005, the Spanish Interior Ministry released figures concerning anti-terrorist operations undertaken in 2004 in an evaluation report that includes statistics concerning arrests, and the ministry's press releases concerning these operations. In 2004, the Spanish security and police forces arrested 205 suspected members or collaborators of terrorist groups.
Among these, 131 arrests took place in the framework of activities to counter Islamic terrorism, and 74 were related to ETA. Furthermore, 57 suspected members of ETA were arrested in France, and four more in Belgium, bringing the total number of arrests to 135. The report is divided between "international" terrorism, ETA and "other" groups, a section in which the arrest of three members of the left-wing group GRAPO, one member of the Italian Red Brigades, and a member of the IRA are included.
The report looks at anti-terrorist operations and arrests, including the names of the people who were arrested, the dates of their arrest, and their current status (under arrest, released on bail, or released), as well as terrorist group's activities in Spain in 2004. With regards to ETA, the report indicates that two terrorist cells and three networks concerned with recruitment and infrastructure were dismantled, and that members of the "terrorist group's leadership" were arrested. It was the first year in which no deaths had resulted from ETA's activities since its cease-fire in 1999. Small-scale explosions and "urban terrorism" (public order offences, damage to property or vandalism, and urban violence, particularly the kale borroka
(street struggle) in the Basque Country, aimed at causing "political de-stabilisation", listed as terrorist offences in 2000) are described as being ETA's main activities over the last year.
As for international terrorism, the figures indicate a great increase in the number of detentions of suspected terrorists in 2004. The figure for 2004 is of 131 arrests, compared with 34 in 2003, 10 in 2002 and 18 in 2001, in a year that was marked by the dreadful attack on the Madrid commuter line on 11 March 2004. 62 of the arrests were related with this attack, with a subsequent attempt to place a similar artefact to those used in Madrid on high-speed train line and with the cell that committed suicide by causing an explosion in Leganés (southern Madrid) in early April, killing Francisco Javier Torronteras, a police officer from the Grupo Especial de Operaciones (GEO, Special Operations Group).
The Interior Ministry's press statement
presenting the report, 5.1.2005.
The report (full-text, in Spanish, pdf files)