Our friend B. writes from Spain (B. asked us to clean up the grammar of this letter. No need to. It is perfectly clear as is):
"Aznar wishes it is ETA, but it does seem to be Al
Qaeda now. It is the Spanish Gov. the one that is
actually bombing us with lame propaganda. The reason
everyone believed immediately that it was ETA is
because of the escalating tension that we have been
living in during the electoral campaign (Elections
this sunday!). My reading is that this terrorist
attack is Ben Laden getting back at Aznar for his
support to Bush. This afternoon Aznar gave a pathetic
press conference: he had to read a paper, because he
was not even capable of memorizing a few sentences. He
sounded like it was his goodbye speech, thanking the
police for their great job (!) against ETA during
these past eight years... This is the image that he
will leave behind. Today he was reaping the fruits of
his policy. The National TV is still intoxicating us
with interviews about ETA, people complaining about it
and so forth while INTERNET is already carrying the
news that Al Qaeda has lready called an Arabian paper
in London to acknowledge this attack.
The ETA subplot here began in January 4th. A Catalan
leftist politician (the equivalent of a PRIME MINISTER
of the Catalan Gov.) had a secret meeting with ETA in
Southern France. This rendezvous was later denounced
by a Spanish newspaper ABC, and the Catalan prime
minister had to resign. The funny thing is that he
left the government to run for the current elections
for the Spanish Congress. This infuriated Aznar. A
week later, ETA announced a special truce only for
Catalonia. This is new in ETA history. They had never
singled out a territory before. They claimed that we
were cool because our government was leftist and
independentist. This, as you can imagine, infuriated
Aznar even more. Last week, this is the third turn of
the screw, the Spanish police arrested two ETA
terrorist who were heading towards Madrid, driving a
van full of dinamite. They had plans to bomb Madrid.
This is why everyone assumed it was ETA right away.
The question is if ETA has emulated Al Qaeda by
bombing without warning (they usually warned before if
they attacked civilians) and by planning a massacre.
More people died in Madrid today than were killed by
ETA in the last 20 years, I think.
This is the story so far. Spain has not finished
fighting an inside demon and is already facing a new
screen, a larger scale terror. Aznar will pay a big
price for it."
Note: the Economist mentions a similar set of facts (although B. is the first to put them in English, that I am aware of).