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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Spanish bombs may be Al-Qaeda's work
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Madame Manga
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#1 Posted on 11.3.04 1720.19
Reposted on: 11.3.11 1720.36
http://news.ft.com/

One possibility not being given much play yet is that ETA and Al-Qaeda could have collaborated on the bombings. It wouldn't be the first time that terrorist organizations put their heads together for such a purpose; the Provisional IRA was known to have ties to Middle Eastern terrorism in the 1980s.

This is a terrible turn for the Spanish government if true. Spaniards in general were opposed to the Iraq war, and the timing of the attacks was obviously chosen to affect the election.

MM
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A-MOL
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#2 Posted on 12.3.04 0207.03
Reposted on: 12.3.11 0207.04
In case people haven't heard, the e-mail to the London based Arabic news paper claiming that Al-Qaeda was responsible also claimed that they were "90% ready" to launch a large scale attack on the US.

This could have repurcussions for a lot of world leaders. In countries like Spain, where the polls suggested at one point only 5% of Spaniards supported the Iraq invasion, attacks like this could lead to people turning against their leaders. If I can be a little selfish, this isn't too good for the UK, the biggest supporter of the invasion which has a general election next year.
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#3 Posted on 12.3.04 0208.45
Reposted on: 12.3.11 0211.08
    Originally posted by A-MOL
    This could have repurcussions for a lot of world leaders. In countries like Spain, where the polls suggested at one point only 5% of Spaniards supported the Iraq invasion, attacks like this could lead to people turning against their leaders.
...or even, one could hope, against Al-Qaeda!
A-MOL
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#4 Posted on 12.3.04 0240.49
Reposted on: 12.3.11 0240.55
    Originally posted by CRZ
      Originally posted by A-MOL
      This could have repurcussions for a lot of world leaders. In countries like Spain, where the polls suggested at one point only 5% of Spaniards supported the Iraq invasion, attacks like this could lead to people turning against their leaders.
    ...or even, one could hope, against Al-Qaeda!


I'd think pretty much everyone is already against Al Qaeda, but in the eyes on the Spanish people, it could be said that by having his picture taken with Bush and Blair at The Azore Summit last year, Aznar made himself and Spain a highly visible target in the eyes of Al Qaeda.

(image removed)
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#5 Posted on 12.3.04 0557.22
Reposted on: 12.3.11 0558.06
I'm not sold on the potential of an ETA/al-Qaeda alliance. This just generally does not fit ETA's MO, though if they were working together that would give ETA plausible deniability.
aureole
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#6 Posted on 12.3.04 0633.54
Reposted on: 12.3.11 0636.30
Well, I think the main source of confusion is that no-one has claimed responsibility yet. Most of the time, ETA are willing to claim responsibility for bombs - often *before* they're set off. Three possible scenarios present themselves:

1) This was an act of an extremist wing of ETA, splintering due to the pressure the Spanish government have put on ETA recently. This would be not dissimilar to the RIRA and other groups who carried on bombings in Ireland during the recent ceasefire, so it has precendent. However, the scale of the operation may make it unlikely that it's a smaller group.

2) It may be Al-Qaeda or an Al-Qaeda/ETA/ETA-offshoot alliance. This would seem to be unlikely as an alliance and Al-Qaeda have little or no history of working in Spain, but Al-Qaeda have precedent for not claiming responsibility for attacks.

3) It may be ETA trying to make an attack look like Al-Qaeda in the run-up to the elections to discredit the government and their involvement in the Iraq war. This seems more like a conspiracy theory or the plot of a bad movie (like, say Patriot Games) than a likely occurance, however.

I genuinely don't know which is the most likely scenario, or
indeed on the repercussions of the act - whether Al-Qaeda or ETA, both have been the focus of hard-line policies by the Spanish government, and I wonder whether this will spur even more hard-line policies or a backlash against them. I think this tradegy could have even more far-reaching consequences for European politics.
Corajudo
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#7 Posted on 12.3.04 1159.14
Reposted on: 12.3.11 1159.49
    Originally posted by Grimis
    I'm not sold on the potential of an ETA/al-Qaeda alliance. This just generally does not fit ETA's MO, though if they were working together that would give ETA plausible deniability.


I agree with Grimis. This would be a significant change for a group after 30-40 years of following the same MO. Remember, ETA apologized for an incident a couple of years ago when one of their bombs killed 22 civilians because they did not intend for such a high civilian casualty rate. Their focus has never been on maximizing civilian casualties. Given the prevailing global climate, it seems unlikely that they would change their strategy in this manner. Furthermore, this would only hurt their attempt to secede. And, in the past they always seemed to understand that large scale civilian casualties hurt their cause more than help it. But, hopefully more information will be forthcoming soon.
JoshMann
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#8 Posted on 12.3.04 1216.15
Reposted on: 12.3.11 1216.53
There's one thing I've never understood about responsibility claims, and perhaps someone who knows better than I can answer this, since I don't claim to know everything:

Until it's inviestigated, even if responsibility is claimed, how do we know they're telling the truth and not acting as a smokescreen for someone else, like what might be possible (key word: might) in this case?

After all, if terrorists can blow shit up without a conscience, how hard can lying be for them?
The Amazing Salami
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#9 Posted on 12.3.04 1238.09
Reposted on: 12.3.11 1239.06
ETA has now said they had nothing to do with this one.

And, to the statement earlier about being 90% ready for a large attack on the US. Why oh why, if you were a terrorist, would you do something in Spain that would heighten security everywhere else. Why not leave everyone else feeling safe and secure and then, SURPRISE.
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#10 Posted on 12.3.04 1307.13
Reposted on: 12.3.11 1308.50
    Originally posted by The Amazing Salami
    ETA has now said they had nothing to do with this one.

    And, to the statement earlier about being 90% ready for a large attack on the US. Why oh why, if you were a terrorist, would you do something in Spain that would heighten security everywhere else. Why not leave everyone else feeling safe and secure and then, SURPRISE.

Logic and terrorism?
Grimis
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#11 Posted on 12.3.04 1533.57
Reposted on: 12.3.11 1534.29
That's ok, the UN in it's infinite wisdom passed a resolution blaming ETA anyway...
Merc
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#12 Posted on 13.3.04 0442.29
Reposted on: 13.3.11 0443.56
    Originally posted by A-MOL
    I'd think pretty much everyone is already against Al Qaeda, but in the eyes on the Spanish people, it could be said that by having his picture taken with Bush and Blair at The Azore Summit last year, Aznar made himself and Spain a highly visible target in the eyes of Al Qaeda.


If you swap in our PM John Howard, those sentiments are echoed here by many people. Alot of the news has "experts" theorising we could be next if it was Al Qaeda.
A-MOL
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#13 Posted on 15.3.04 0157.31
Reposted on: 15.3.11 0158.48
Aznar loses election (news.bbc.co.uk)


    Outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and his wife were booed and jostled as they arrived to cast their votes.

    As he tried to address supporters, he was drowned out by cries of "manipulators", "liars" and "peace".

    The Spanish government backed the US-led invasion of Iraq last year despite polls showing 90% opposition to it from the Spanish public.


This, unfortunately, looks like a success for Al Qaeda, as it appears that they have influenced an election.
Grimis
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#14 Posted on 15.3.04 0612.05
Reposted on: 15.3.11 0613.51
    Originally posted by A-MOL
    This, unfortunately, looks like a success for Al Qaeda, as it appears that they have influenced an election.
Which really concerns me that they'll get ideas for later this year...
A-MOL
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#15 Posted on 15.3.04 0638.26
Reposted on: 15.3.11 0639.41
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by A-MOL
      This, unfortunately, looks like a success for Al Qaeda, as it appears that they have influenced an election.
    Which really concerns me that they'll get ideas for later this year...


Australia have a general election this year as well.

The UK is provisionally having an election next May.
Grimis
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#16 Posted on 15.3.04 0640.44
Reposted on: 15.3.11 0640.56
I've also found this interesting link by blogger Tacitus that details why Spain was an al-Qeida target before their involvement in the war.

To make a long story short, this all goes back to the Moors and the Catholic Spanish throne pushing the Muslims out of Europe in 1492...
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#17 Posted on 15.3.04 0737.52
Reposted on: 15.3.11 0739.21
Isn't thi what they thought we would do after 9/11?
Nate The Snake
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#18 Posted on 15.3.04 0739.47
Reposted on: 15.3.11 0740.31
    Originally posted by A-MOL
    This, unfortunately, looks like a success for Al Qaeda, as it appears that they have influenced an election.


Argh.

If ninety percent of the Spanish people opposed Spain's involvement in the Iraq occupation, what makes the results of this election Al-Qaeda's fault?

They might try to take credit for it, but don't GIVE it to them.

At least nobody's screaming "OMG Spanish traitor socialist bastards!" here yet.
A-MOL
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#19 Posted on 15.3.04 0912.25
Reposted on: 15.3.11 0912.27
    Originally posted by Nate The Snake
      Originally posted by A-MOL
      This, unfortunately, looks like a success for Al Qaeda, as it appears that they have influenced an election.


    Argh.

    If ninety percent of the Spanish people opposed Spain's involvement in the Iraq occupation, what makes the results of this election Al-Qaeda's fault?

    They might try to take credit for it, but don't GIVE it to them.

    At least nobody's screaming "OMG Spanish traitor socialist bastards!" here yet.


Aznar was a clear favourite to win the election until last week. The bombings and his subsequent reaction clearly cost him.
Madame Manga
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#20 Posted on 15.3.04 1940.24
Reposted on: 15.3.11 1940.26
    Originally posted by A-MOL
    Aznar was a clear favourite to win the election until last week. The bombings and his subsequent reaction clearly cost him.


Aznar wasn't running, but his hand-picked successor was. Works out to about the same thing.

http://edition.cnn.com/ 2003/WORLD/europe/09/ 02/spain.successor/

MM
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