16 April 2004
MADRID – Three ETA suspects arrested in France Friday had a bomb ready to use in a terrorist attack, police sources said.
The arrests will be seen as significant as it was widely believed in Spain that ETA wanted to declare a truce.
The 11 March terrorist attacks, thought to have been carried out by Islamic extremists, so revolted the public that it was felt ETA believed any other attacks would only alienate the public further.
The three suspects were thought to be Inocente Soria Valderrama, Iñigo Elicegui Erviti and José Luis Campos Barrandiaran.
But sources would not confirm the identities of the suspects.
The suspects were thought to be part of the logistical section of the Basque terrorist group.
They specialized in designing detonators for explosive devices.
According to the same sources, one of the suspects was known as the ‘electronic engineer’ of ETA.
He replaced Ignacio Pedro Santesteban Goikoetxea, alias “Einstein”, who was arrested in France in 2000.
Goikoetxea has previously been responsible for making the electronic components of the bombs used by ETA.
The operation to arrest the three suspects was carried out by French anti-terrorist police in conjunction with their counterparts in the Spanish police.
Sources said police had effectively dismantled a bomb factory where components to be used in forthcoming attacks were being constructed.
The suspects were detained at a house in Chatellerault, to the north of Poitiers, which is in western France.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news