Sunday, June 8, 2014

Spain: Dormant ETA Terrorist Arrested in Madrid on European Arrest Warrant Issued in 2006

According to AFP, Spanish police on Sunday (June 8) arrested a member of the armed Basque separatist group ETA suspected of belonging to a unit that killed several police officers in the 1980s, the Interior Ministry said.

Police detained María Jesús Elorza Zubizarreta, now 66, at Madrid's Adolfo-Suarez Barajas Airport under a European arrest warrant issued by France in 2006.
 
Zubizarreta, also known by her alias "Karakate," was a member of ETA's Donosti unit "which was responsible for the murder of several police officers in the 1980s" in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, it added.

The fugitive fled to France in 1984, after police broke up the Donosti unit with the arrest of several of its members and eventually moved to Venezuela in 2006.

COMMENT: Given her background, it was foolish for Zubizarreta to not think she was still radioactive, unless she really wanted to be caught, particularly in her own country.

It is unknown as to whether Zubizarreta was attempting to fly abroad or domestically within Spain, but in any event she has been arrested.
  
During her time in France she allegedly constructed IEDs for ETA and housed ETA members at a home she owned in San Sebastian, a seaside town in Spain's Basque region, according to the Interior Ministry.

A top French court in 2006 sentenced Zubizarreta to three years in jail for membership in a terrorist organization and banned her for life from living in French territory.

ETA, which announced an end to its violence in 2011, is blamed for the shooting and bombing deaths of 829 people in a four-decade campaign for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France.

ETA is still classified as a terrorist group by both the US and EU.

Earlier this year, the group said it would put its arsenal of weapons "out of operational use" in a historic first step towards disarmament.

This report will be updated as new information is received.