Three cheers for the French cops! They've done it again. Ibon Fernández and Ainhoa García, the ETA "military" bosses, were captured yesterday morning by the French police near Bayonne. They were armed and offered resistance when they were stopped at a roadblock set up just for them, though they did not fire their pistols. They had only held these posts for three months, as their predecessors, Juan Antonio Olarra and Ainhoa Múgica, were arrested on September 16 near Bordeaux. Eight other etarras, some of them armed, were also picked up yesterday by the French police. The official release of their identities is pending, though one is known to be Olarra's girlfriend. Fernández had tried to blow up the entire PP leadership at the Zarautz cemetery when they were assembled for a memorial service for a murdered city councilman in January 2001, and wounded a cop in the French town of Monein in November 2001. García murdered José María Korta in August 2000, stole the getaway car for the killers of Santiago Oleaga in May 2001, and fingered Mikel Uribe, murdered in July 2001. She also sent two package-bombs, one of which blew off the recipient's hand. Fernández and García are believed to have been arrested due to information collected from the two etarras captured in Madrid on Wednesday; they had prepared the car loaded with explosives that was delivered to the Madrid Two.
On Wednesday at the Puerta del Hierro hospital in Madrid, surgeons performed life-saving surgery on Gotzon Aramburu, the etarra wounded in the neck and abdomen in the shootout. Aramburu is a cop-killer and vicious terrorist, the sworn enemy of the Western democratic system that defends the rights of all of us to live as we wish, free and prosperous and safe, and a man who planned to murder literally hundreds of innocent people like you and me with his ninety-kilo car bomb. It says something about the basic decency of Western democracy and of the Spanish people that they went out of their way to save this son-of-a-bitch's worthless life without any questions. No other society in the history of the world would have given two farts about Aramburu, and 99% would have considered it an act of public virtue to kill him off instantly in some horribly painful manner. And yet the ETA uses guns and bombs and terror to overthrow the very society whose humanity saved one of their assassins.
Recent Major French ETA Busts:
15 September 2000, Bidart. Ignacio Gracia, Number One of the whole organization, arrested. 14 arrests follow, including most of the logistics and forgery departments.
26 February 2001, Anglet. Xabier García, operations chief, arrested. 11 arrests follow, including the entire San Sebastián cell.
23 September 2001, Grenoble. Asier Oyarzabal, logistics chief, arrested. Arrest of Vicente Goicochea, Number Two of political department, follows.
16 September 2002, Talence. Mentioned above. Juan Antonio Olarra and Ainhoa Múgica, operations chiefs, arrested.