Madrid Bombings March 11, 2004 Madrid Bombing Overview March 11, 2004 • Between 0730 and 0745 local time, 10 explosive devices were detonated in 4 trains along the C-2 commuter train line, which runs from Guadalajara to the Madrid Atocha, Station. • The total number of IEDs was 13 (backpacks). Ten detonated on the trains, and the Spanish National Police EOD team detonated the remaining three. The bombs were placed between 0700 and 0715, and were set to explode 35 minutes after being placed on the trains. Estimates are that up to 700 people were on each of the trains, with an average of 100 people in each of the passenger cars. • The first explosives, a total of three, detonated at 0739 on a commuter train that had already arrived at the Madrid Atocha Train station, with 34 deaths. The second explosion occurred at 0742, on a commuter train that was running 2 minutes behind schedule. This train was actually moving into the main station, and was approximately 500 meters away from the first. The train came to a halt near the C/ Tellez, as four bombs exploded causing 64 deaths. The third train, with two bombs detonating at 0742, was approximately 1000 meters from train #2, at the Pozo del Tio Raimundo station. This was the bloodiest, with at least 67 deaths. Finally, the fourth train was several hundred meters away at the Sta. Eugenia station, where one bomb exploded at 0742, causing 16 deaths. Madrid Bombing Overview March 11, 2004 • Three further explosive devices hidden in backpacks were destroyed in policecontrolled explosions. Open sources report that the IEDs had been planted to hit emergency services as they arrived on the scene. • 198 Casualties and 1,247 wounded. No reports yet of American deaths. But he says the embassy is aware of three American citizens who were injured. Currently, 14 foreigners are among the dead - three Peruvians, two Hondurans, two Poles, and a person each from France, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Colombia, Morocco and GuineaBissau. Atocha Station Attacks Debris and the bodies of victims lie next to a destroyed train car after a bomb exploded in the Atocha railway station in Madrid Thursday, March 11, 2004, killing at least 62 people. Specialists disable high voltage electronic cables on the rail track near the wreckage of a bombed train near Madrid's Atocha station, March 11, 2004. El Pozo del Tio Raimundo Train Station Attacks Two bombs exploded on a Ceranías train in el Pozo del Tio Raimundo, a working class district in the outskirts of Madrid. Santa Eugenia Train Station Attacks One bomb exploded on a Ceranías train at the Santa Eugenia train Station. Spanish Rail Guide Madrid has two principle long distance railway stations, Atocha and Chamartín. Atocha is used for most destinations to the south and west of the country, the high speed AVE trains which travel to Cordoba and Sevilla and also serves as the hub of the Cercanías local train network. Atocha is the largest and most used train station. Spaniards Mourn the Attacks People show their emotions as they fill a central square in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday March 11, 2004, during a demonstration to protest the bomb attacks that rocked three different railway stations in Madrid killing at least 173 rush-hour commuters and injuring hundreds more in what officials called the deadliest attack ever by the Basque separatist group ETA. Immediate Ramifications in Spain Friday, March 12 • Increased police presence in transportation hubs, tourist attractions, and government and diplomatic locations • Decrease in commuter rail traffic • Delays caused by added security measures and/or bomb threats or hoaxes • Disruption of businesses services due to closures Who is to Blame? ETA? • • • • Forensic evidence: The three devices that failed to explode suggest that the explosives and technology match those previously used by ETA. Possible splinter group: Younger, less experienced ETA supporters may have carried out the bombings independently of the group's weakened mainstream, which has been decimated by police operations over recent months. Comparisons might be drawn to the Real IRA. Increasing activity by a younger wing of ETA: Officers from the Guardia Civil (armed police force) on 29 February arrested two suspected ETA members in Cañaveras (Cuenca, about 94 miles (150km) from Madrid) carrying 1,115lb (506kg) of chloratite explosive and 66lb (30kg) of titadyne (dynamite) in a truck. Both were young and inexperienced. Precedent for a coordinated ETA attack on trains: 24-26 December 2003, police intercepted and deactivated two bombs that had been placed by two young Basque terrorists on a train from Irun to Madrid. The bomb was primed and set to detonate as the train reached Madrid's Chamartín station. The two men on the same day placed a device under a railway track in Zaragoza (Aragon), which exploded and caused minor damage to a train. A further bomb was planted at a station in Samper de Calanda, on the line linking Zaragoza to Barcelona (Catalonia). Who is to Blame? al-Qaeda? • • • • • • Al-Qaeda Hallmark: Simultaneous, coordinated bombings to cause mass casualties is a hallmark of al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda Plots Revealed: January 2003, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar announced that Spanish police had thwarted a “major terrorist attack after arresting 16 suspected alQaeda militants in northeastern Catalonia. Al-Qaeda has issued numerous threats to attack Spain and Spanish targets. Last May a group affiliated with al-Qaeda killed 41 people in a series of suicide bombings in Casablanca, Morocco. One of the targets was a Spanish cultural centre. More than 40 al-Qaeda suspects have been arrested in Spain since the attacks, although many have been released for lack of evidence. September 11th planning: At least some of the planning for the September 11, 2001 attacks took place in Spain. Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks, made two trips to Spain - one just two months before the attacks to make final plans with al-Qaeda leaders. Spanish Support of U.S.: Spain has been a vocal US ally in the war on terrorism ETA Denies Responsibility: Party leader Arnaldo Otegi said he "refused to believe" that ETA was responsible for the apparently coordinated bombs and blamed the “Arab Resistance.” Cooperation Among ETA and Radical Islamic Extremists? • Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar is not ruling out any possibilities • Yusuf Galan, a Spanish national who was indicted last year on charges of involvement with al-Qaeda, was a former ETA member who converted to Islam. Supplemental Information 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Statement by Colin Powell, Slide 16 Warden Message U.S. Embassy Madrid, Slide 17 Deadliest European Attacks, Slide 18 – 19 Patterns of Global Terrorism, ETA Description, Slide 20 Q & A about ETA from the Guardian News, Slides 21 – 24 ETA Chronology of Key Events 2004 – 1937, Slides 25 - 34 U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice, Slide 35 Statement by Secretary Colin L. Powell Bombing in Madrid The United States vehemently condemns the outrageous and appalling terrorist attacks that took place in Madrid today. I offer deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of Spain. In my telephone call with Foreign Minister Palacio this morning, I extended our sympathies and complete support to the Spanish government. The United States stands resolutely with Spain in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and against the threat that Spain faces from the evil of ETA terrorism. No political pretext can justify this premeditated murder of the innocent. We will assist the Spanish government in any way we can to find those responsible for these heinous acts and bring them to certain justice. U.S. Embassy Madrid Warden Message On March 11, 2004, the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain released the following Warden Message: This Warden Message is to alert Americans that the media and police are reporting multiple explosions between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 am, today, Thursday, March 11, 2004, at the Atocha rail terminal in central Madrid and two different Cercanías commuter rail stations, El Pozo and Santa Eugenia, serving east and southeastern Madrid. All the stations are on the number 2 Cercanías line, primarily a commuter line. We have no reports yet of any Americans killed or injured. Initial media reports quoting police reports are that there are a number of dead and hundreds of injured. The Embassy is in contact with the Spanish authorities and is attempting to determine whether any Americans were involved. Also as of yet there has been no claim of responsibility or determination of cause of the explosion. We request that all Americans in Spain and especially the Madrid area contact their families to assure them of their well-being. The Department of State continues to monitor security conditions overseas, and, as always, will promptly disseminate information affecting the safety of Americans abroad through its consular information program. These documents are available on the Department's Internet website at www.travel.state.gov. The Department of State encourages all American citizens residing abroad to register their presence and obtain up-to-date information on security conditions at the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. The American Embassy in Madrid is located at Serrano, 75; telephone (34) (91) 587-2303; the American Consulate General in Barcelona is located at Paseo Reina Elisenda 23-25; telephone (34) (93) 280-2227 and fax (34) (93) 2055206. Our Embassy website address is www.embusa.es. Deadliest European Attacks Timeline: 1974-2004 Deadliest European Attacks Timeline: 1974-2004 Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) a.k.a. Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna Description Founded in 1959 with the aim of establishing an independent homeland based on Marxist principles in the northern Spanish Provinces of Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, Alava, and Navarra, and the southwestern French Departments of Labourd, Basse-Navarra, and Soule. Recent Spanish counterterrorism initiatives are hampering the group?s operational capabilities. Spanish police arrested 123 ETA members and accomplices in 2002; French authorities arrested dozens more. In August, a Spanish judge placed a provisional ban on ETA?s political wing, Batasuna. Activities Primarily involved in bombings and assassinations of Spanish Government officials, security and military forces, politicians, and judicial figures; in December 2002, however, ETA reiterated its intention to target Spanish tourist areas. In 2002, ETA killed five persons, including a child, a notable decrease from 2001?s death toll of 15, and wounded approximately 90 persons. The group has killed more than 800 persons and injured hundreds of others since it began lethal attacks in the early 1960s. ETA finances its activities through kidnappings, robberies, and extortion. Location/Area of Operation Operates primarily in the Basque autonomous regions of northern Spain and southwestern France, but also has bombed Spanish and French interests elsewhere. The Guardian News Q & A About ETA Was it ETA? If it was, it marks a dramatic change of methods. In recent years ETA has murdered local politicians and policemen and waged a car-bombing campaign against the tourist towns of the Costa Blanca, but it has never killed so indiscriminately, nor on such a huge scale. It was also believed to be weakened after the arrests of many of its most important members and split over its future direction. The Madrid commuter train bombs would mark a new brutality - or the emergence of a dangerous splinter group. A senior member of Batasuna, the banned party alleged to be ETA's political wing, has said that the style of the attacks - simultaneous, without prior warning and against soft, civilian targets - suggested the work of the "Arab resistance". But, for the moment at least, ETA is being blamed. Police intercepted and arrested two suspected ETA members at the end of last month as they brought an 500kg bomb to Madrid, prompting fears that the group would attempt to strike during the current general election campaign. Spain goes to the polls on Sunday, though all political parties have now suspended campaigning. The Guardian News Q & A About ETA (2) What is ETA's cause? It wants to establish an independent socialist Basque state straddling northern Spain and the southern end of France's Atlantic coast. The Basques consider their culture distinct from those of their neighbors and speak a language unlike any other in Europe. The Basque language (called Euskara) is believed to predate the arrival of the Indo-European languages to the continent, of which French, Spanish, German, Icelandic, Welsh, Serbo-Croat and almost all others are the modern descendants. The Basque region, home to large fishing ports, heavy industry and wealthy banks, has historically been one of the richest in Spain. Euskadi Ta Askatasuma (Basque Homeland and Freedom) was established in 1959 under the fascist Franco dictatorship, when the Basques' language was banned, their culture suppressed and intellectuals imprisoned and tortured for their political and cultural beliefs. ETA's most spectacular success was the assassination of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco in 1973. He was Franco's most likely successor and his death may have hastened the end of Spanish fascism when Franco died two years later. In the post-Franco democratic settlement an autonomous region was set up in three out of the four provinces separatists consider Basque (Alava, Vizcaya and Guipuzcoa, but not Navarra), with its own parliament, police force, control over education and tax-raising powers. But that was not enough for ETA. The Guardian News Q & A About ETA (3) What do they do? ETA is best known for car bombs and sniping. Its victims have included politicians, journalists, businessmen, soldiers, judges, policemen and academics. It also targets tourists, announcing in 2001 that visitors to Spain were "legitimate targets" in an attempt to destroy an industry that accounts for 5.5% of the country's economy. The group also engages in kidnapping and extortion and has threatened foreign-owned businesses in Spain. How does the Spanish government deal with ETA? It lists it as a terrorist group (as do the EU and US, which have frozen its assets) and refuses to talk to ETA until its leaders renounce violence. Recent Spanish governments have taken a consistently hard line against the group. The immediate post-Franco administration (composed largely of former Francoists) continued with many of the old methods until Felipe Gonzalez's socialists superseded them. Though Gonzalez has denied under oath that he authorized it, the anti-terrorist group Gal was set up in the early years of his administration to fight a dirty war against ETA. Gal carried out assassinations of known ETA members (and several who were not), kidnappings, bombings and torture. In total, Gal agents, many of who were mercenaries, killed 27 people in the 1980s. With the election of the centre right Partido Popular in 1996, the new prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, set out on a mission to destroy ETA that has included introducing the anti-terror laws used to ban Batasuna. The Guardian News Q & A About ETA (4) Why was Batasuna banned? It is the only political party in Spain that refuses to condemn ETA's deadly attacks. In its 34-year campaign for an independent Basque state, ETA has claimed responsibility for the deaths of more than 800 people. A 23-point government case against the party also alleged that many Batasuna members were also members of ETA. Does ETA have links elsewhere? It operates largely out of France (though France is extraditing an increasing number of suspected ETA members for trial in Spain). Its members have also received training in the past in Libya, Lebanon, and Nicaragua. There is a widespread view among American analysts that the group is part of a web of Marxist militant organizations that includes the Colombian FARC guerrillas. Similarities between ETA operations and those of the Provisional IRA suggest that the two groups have swapped information, techniques and - according to some reports - arms and explosives. There are also links between Batasuna and Sinn Fein. Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, has visited the area many times to meet the leaders of Batasuna. ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • • • • • 10 March 2004: The National High Court has sentenced Asier Ormazabal to 50 years' imprisonment for taking part in the attack committed by ETA in 1995 on the premises of the DNI [identity card offices] in Bilbao [in Basque Country], in which one National Police officer died and another was seriously injured. 29 February 2004 - 2 ETA suspects were arrested driving towards Madrid in a van with more than 500 kilograms of explosives. Events may be linked to the Spanish general elections on 14 March. 18 February 2004: ETA's announcement that it is suspending its attacks in Catalonia has put on a state of "maximum alert" the antiterrorist services, which are convinced that the truce in Catalonia "will surely be confirmed" with "an attack, or at least an attempted attack" elsewhere in Spain before the elections on 14 March. 11 February 2004: Juan Trecet, a former ETA member sentenced at the beginning of the 1980s for attempted murder, attacking a member of the security forces, causing serious damage and other offences, was sentenced yesterday to eight years' imprisonment for having bought electronic components for the terrorist group in March 2000, with which circuits were built that it then used in explosive devices. 3 February 2004: The main foreign tour operators that include Spain as a holiday destination yesterday expressed their "absolute calm" over the threats they have received from ETA. They were reacting to the statements by Interior Minister Angel Acebes on Tuesday [3 February 2004] reporting the new extortion campaign the terrorist group has begun against the tourism sector, similar to the one it conducted in January and February last year. ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • 24 December 2003 - Two suspected members of ETA arrested in the Guipuzcoa [province in Basque Country] town of Hernani in a car filled with explosives. It was suspected that the explosives were going to be used to carry out an attack in Madrid. • 9 December 2003: Police recapture suspected ETA logistics chief Ibon Fernandez Iradi in the French town of Mont-de-Marsan. • 6 December 2003 - Molotov cocktail thrown at the home of a socialist councilor in Azpeitia (Guipuzcoa Province, Basque Country) causing slight damage. • 20 November 2003: Spanish police arrest 12 suspected ETA leaders in a series of raids. One of the suspects, Eneko Aguirresarobe, is believed to be a participant in five attacks in May, June and July," an Interior Ministry spokesman said. The attacks, some of which were thwarted by police, included a car bomb outside the offices of power giant Iberdrola, a bomb in a restaurant and a car bomb in Santander airport. • 18 October 2003 – An army barracks in the village of Aizoain, near Pamplona, in Navarre (part Basque-speaking region of northern Spain) hit by a grenade. The device did not explode. • 12 October 2003 - 12 HGVs were destroyed in the early hours of the morning in an Irun frontier lorry park when two bombs exploded. No one was injured. The incident was associated with ETA's on-going "revolutionary tax" (extortion) payment campaign aimed at local business interests. • 15 August 2003 - Police Detonate Suitcase-Bomb in Northern Spain. This is first time the terrorist band ETA has planted a bomb in the La Bureba area of Burgos Province, which is 40 km north of the capital and 50 km away from the Basque Country. ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • 13 July 2003: Following a telephoned warning, the authorities deactivated a bomb, which had been placed in a hotel in Pamplona. The bomb, as with that in a hotel in Bilbao on 23 June 2003, was thought to be part of ETA’s campaign of extortion against hotel owners. • 30 May 2003: A car bomb explosion has killed two policemen and injured at least two other people in a town in northern Spain. The explosion occurred around 1225 (1025 GMT) in a square in the town of Sanguesa in Navarra province, the capital of which is Pamplona. • May 2003: The United States declares Batasuna a terrorist group. The European Union follows suit a month later. • March 2003: Spain's Supreme Court bans Batasuna permanently in response to a government request. It is the first time since Franco died in 1975 that a political party has been banned in Spain. Car Bomb in Sanguesa Source: Associated Press ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • February 2003: The Spanish Government shuts down Basque newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria on the grounds that it is linked to ETA - but a new Basque newspaper, Egunero, hits the stands the next day, under the headline "Shut but not silenced". • December 2002: Suspected ETA logistics chief Ibon Fernandez Iradi escapes from police custody in southern France only three days after being captured near the Spanish border. • September 2002: French police arrest a man and woman suspected of being top leaders of ETA following a joint operation with Spanish police. The man, Juan Antonio Olarra Guribi, is believed to be the group's military head. • August 2002: Judge Garzon suspends Batasuna for three years on the grounds that it is part of ETA, which he declares "guilty of crimes against humanity". Parliament, meanwhile, votes to seek an indefinite ban on Batasuna. • July 2002: Judge Baltasar Garzon orders the seizure of 18m euros in assets belonging to Batasuna. • December 2001: The European Union declares ETA a terrorist organization - the first time all 15 member governments have labeled ETA as such, in a significant diplomatic victory for the Spanish Government. • November 2001: Judge Jose Maria Lidon is shot dead in Bilbao less than 24 hours after a car bomb injures nearly 100 in Madrid. Lidon - who was not on any known Eta hitlist - had sentenced six Eta sympathizers to long jail terms in 1987. • May 2001: Senior Popular Party member Manuel Jimenez Abad is shot dead in the city of Zaragoza a week before elections to the Basque parliament. • March 2001: Socialist party politician Froilan Elexpe is shot dead in an apparent Eta attack near the city of San Sebastian. ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • 27 July 2003 - A car bomb exploded in the car park of the airport at Santander in northern Spain. Prior to the bombing, a warning was received and the area safely evacuated. This incident followed two explosions on 22 July 2003, in resorts on the Costa Blanca; the first inside the Hotel Bahia in Alicante and the second inside the Hotel Nadal in Benidorm. Although warnings were given and the hotels evacuated, both bombs exploded prematurely causing injuries to some police officers and those being evacuated including, in Alicante, one British woman. Alicante Source: BBC News Santander Airport Source: BBC News ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 Patterns of Global Terrorism, U.S. Department of State, 2000 Spain was wracked by domestic terrorism in 2000. After abandoning its cease-fire in late 1999, the terrorist group Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) began a countrywide bombing and assassination campaign, killing 23 and wounding scores more by year's end. ETA traditionally targets police, military personnel, and politicians, as well as journalists and businessmen. As 2000 progressed, however, the group appeared to become increasingly indiscriminate in its attacks, targeting, for example, intersections and shopping areas. The public responded with huge demonstrations in major cities, demanding an end to the violence. Also in 2000, the Spanish and French Basque youth groups united and continued their campaign of street violence and arson. Spanish authorities diligently prosecuted ETA members on terrorism and criminal charges, and the Aznar government reiterated its determination to eliminate terrorism and not negotiate over independence for the constitutionally autonomous Basque provinces. After difficult discussions over the role of moderate Basques represented by the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), the governing and opposition Socialist parties signed a common anti-ETA pact at year's end. ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • November 2000: King Juan Carlos strongly condemns ETA in a speech on the 25th anniversary of his accession to the throne. The king's unusually political address comes two days after a former government minister is killed in Barcelona. • 30 October 2000: Spanish police officers inspect the remains of a passenger bus set ablaze after a car bomb, blamed on the ETA, exploded near Madrid on 30 October. The attack killed three persons, including a Spanish Supreme Court judge, injured more than 60 others, and destroyed dozens of cars. • August 2000: Thousands of people demonstrate in support of ETA in the city of Bilbao after four members of the group die in a blast caused by explosives in a car they are driving. • May 2000: King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia lead thousands of Spaniards in a nationwide silent vigil to protest against the killing of journalist Jose Luis de la Calle. It is the first time the king has made such a gesture, a royal spokesman says. Passenger Bus Set Ablaze Source: Patterns of Global Terrorism ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • Spring 2000: The Spanish film Yoyes, a fictional film based on the story of real-life ETA operative Dolores Gonzalez Catarian, breaks the long-standing taboo in Spanish cinema against dealing with the separatist movement. • January and February 2000: Car bombs explode in Madrid and the Basque capital Vitoria heralding a return to the violent separatist campaign. • November 1999:The separatist group announces an end to its 14-month ceasefire in a Basque newspaper, blaming lack of progress in talks with the Spanish Government. • August 1999: Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar accuses ETA of being "scared of peace" and calls on the group to prove its commitment. ETA subsequently confirms that contact with Madrid has been severed. • May 1999: The first and only meeting to date between ETA and the Spanish Government in Zurich, Switzerland. • September 1998: ETA announces its first indefinite ceasefire since its campaign of violence began, effective from 18 September. • June 1998: Car bomb kills Popular Party councillor Manuel Zamarreno. • April 1998 Northern Ireland peace agreement signed. ETA is understood to have been heavily influenced by the Northern Ireland peace process. ETA has traditionally had relations with the Irish republicans and the political wing Herri Batasuna has been schooled by Sinn Fein on strategy for negotiation. • March 1998: Spain's main political parties engage in talks to end violence in the Basque region. The government is not involved. • February 1998: Herri Batasuna elects new provisional leadership. ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • December 1997: 23 leaders of Herri Batasuna jailed for seven years for collaborating with ETA. The case centers on an video featuring armed and masked ETA guerrillas, which the party tried to show during general election campaign. This was the first time any members of the party have been jailed for co-operating with ETA. • July 1997: Eta kidnaps and kills Basque councillor Miguel Angel Blanco, sparking national outrage and bringing an estimated six million Spaniards onto the streets. • 1997: Start of Eta's campaign against local Popular Party politicians. • March 1996: Right-wing Popular Party wins general election. There is speculation that the change of government would lead to a crackdown against Eta, which later proves wrong. But Eta apparently views the Popular Party as heir to General Franco's dictatorship. • 1995: Attempt to assassinate the leader of the opposition Popular Party (later Prime Minister), Jose Maria Aznar, with a car bomb. • June 1987: Twenty-one shoppers are killed in an attack on a Barcelona supermarket. Eta apologises for the "mistake". • 1980: 118 people are killed in Eta's bloodiest year so far. • 1978: Eta's political wing Herri Batasuna is founded. • December 1973: Basque nationalists assassinate Prime Minister Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco in Madrid in retaliation for the government's execution of Basque militants. ETA Chronology Key Events, 2004-1937 • • • • 1968: ETA kills its first victim, Meliton Manzanas, a secret police chief in San Sebastian. 1961: ETA's violent campaign begins with an attempt to derail a train transporting politicians. 1959: ETA is founded with the aim of creating an independent homeland in Spain's Basque region. The full name of the organisation Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna - means Basque fatherland and freedom. 1937: General Franco occupies Basque country. The Basques had enjoyed a degree of autonomy which they now were denied. Franco regime ruthlessly represses their aspirations for independence. Meliton Manzanas U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice More than 140 people are reported to have been killed and many injured in co-ordinated explosions on three rush hour trains in Madrid early on 11 March. Transport is widely disrupted in Madrid. Further details will be made available when known. Please continue to monitor our Travel Advice. You should be alert to the activities of the Basque terrorist group ETA who recently renewed their threat to attack the Spanish tourist industry in 2004. There is a general threat in Spain to Western, including British, targets from terrorism. You should also be alert to the existence of street crime. You should therefore remain vigilant in public places, including tourist sites. But the vast majority of visits to Spain are trouble-free. The ETA threat against the tourist industry was renewed this year when tour operators in Spain and foreign companies that include Spain in their holiday offers received a letter stating that tourist facilities would continue to be ETA targets during 2004. Specific warnings have usually been given ahead of each attack. In recent attacks, there have not been mass casualties. But given this active campaign and the millions of tourists who visit Spain each year, and although the security forces have had considerable success in arresting ETA terrorist groups, there is a chance that visitors will be caught up in further attacks in tourist areas. Warnings may not always be given or a bomb could explode prematurely. However, ETA announced a ceasefire that applies only within Catalunya on 18 February. As well as tourist targets (see below for examples of past attacks), ETA also continues to attack other targets eg Spanish politicians, members of the security forces, judges and journalists. When bombs have been used to target specific individuals, warnings have not been given. In April 2003, one of ETA's internal bulletins included multinational companies with operations in Spain in a long list of possible economic targets. Incidents of street violence in the Basque country, involving youths sympathetic to ETA, and directed against the security forces, political parties and banks have dropped to all time historical lows over the last year or so. These incidents usually happen late at night, more often than not at weekends, and take the form of petrol bomb or similar home made explosive devices against the homes or offices of local politicians, security force buildings and cash dispensers.