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Saturday, February 12

New Terrorist Attack in Madrid?

**NEW** See also: Did Banco Bilbao Fail To Pay ETA Extortion Money?


Facts
- The building's facade was refurbished in 2004, a new emergency stair was added and the top of the building was completely renovated.

- During the renovation work a 3-floor black drape was hung on the facade in memory of the casualities from the 11 March 2004 terrorist attacks on Madrid.

Oh, but do I have the right building? It appears so.

Madrid Webcam




"Some in Madrid consider the district the city's "little Manhattan," and there were concerns that the fire could spread to nearby apartment buildings."


Example

The Windsor Building is seen engulfed in fire Madrid, Spain, early Sunday, Feb. 13, 2005. A spectacular, raging fire engulfed the 32-story office building sending flaming chunks of facade cascading to the ground and consuming the building like a candle. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. (AP Photo/Jasper Juinen)

This might have something to do with the Winds of Black Death a-la the Madrid Bombing.

This is the second tragedy to hit Spain in a week.


SECOND DRAMA

It was the second drama to strike Madrid in less than a week, after armed Basque separatists ETA on Wednesday detonated a bomb near a major conference centre, injuring 43 people.


ETA 'plotted skyscraper massacre'
The Spanish authorities have said the Basque separatist group, ETA, was planning to blow up the tallest building in the capital, Madrid, two years ago.

Spain's police chief, Juan Cotino, said the plot was confirmed during questioning of two ETA members, arrested in connection with a car-bomb explosion earlier this week.

They told police that ETA planned to attack the Picasso Tower, where around 5,000 people work.

He said the attack was planned for December 1999 to mark the resumption of violence by ETA after a 14-month ceasefire."

It looks like this may be a repeat process of the Madrid train bombings. Everyone was quick to blame the Basque separatists until it was later determined to be CIA assets, Al-Queda. Case in point: this PBS pundit exchange from March, 2004:

"Ray Suarez: Michael Radu, the smoke had hardly cleared after the bombings when the leading lights of Spain's national government were pointing their fingers solidly at ETA, the Basque separatist organization. Now there have been claims by a group fronting for al-Qaida. Who do you think may be suspect in this morning's bombings?"

. . .

"MICHAEL RADU: I think that the fact that after the initial reaction even the Spanish government became less certain about ETA's responsibility in this, suggests that we don't have enough data yet to make a judgment. My personal feeling is that it's more likely that it was ETA than some Islamic terrorist organization, perhaps Algerian or Moroccan, which are known to be active or to exist in Spain."

The CBC's Fifth Estate:

"The Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar of the Popular Party was quick to place the blame for the blast on the Basque separatist group ETA. This would prove a fateful decision, costing him the election that was slated for March 14.

Indeed, a videotape found near a mosque on the outskirts of Madrid showed a man, speaking Arabic with a Moroccan accent, claiming responsibility for the massacre.

He said he was the military leader of al-Qaeda in Europe, that he belonged to a group called Ansar al-Qaeda, a group unknown to police. The reason given for the attack at Atocha station in Madrid was Spain's participation in the Iraq war.

In the days immediately following the attacks, millions of Spaniards marched through the streets to protests the attacks at Atocha station."


On the other hand, this could be symbolic of Basque victory over the Spanish, as February 12th is a special day in Chilean history:


"In exile in Argentina, O'Higgins joined forces with José de San Martín, whose army freed Chile with a daring assault over the Andes in 1817, defeating the Spaniards at the Battle of Chacabuco on February 12. San Martín considered the liberation of Chile a strategic stepping-stone to the emancipation of Peru, which he saw as the key to hemispheric victory over the Spanish."

This attack could be in conjunction with the Wednesday attack that killed dozens, as the Spanish Parliament motioned on Tuesday to deny the Basque separatists their independence.

IHT:

The Spanish Parliament on Tuesday moved toward an overwhelming rejection of a statement by the semiautonomous Basque region that it has the right to break away from Spain.

A vote was expected late Tuesday night, but the result was considered largely a foregone conclusion since parties representing about 320 of the 350 members of Parliament had already announced their intention to vote against the measure before the debate began

...

The Basque statement is part of a complicated plan for overhauling the region's relationship with the central government in Madrid. Supporters of the plan say it is necessary because the central government has failed to turn over powers, such as control of housing, that are mandated by the law that was passed in 1979 to govern relations between the Basque region and Madrid."


But what if the Madrid tower fire is a Reichstag fire - a way for the Spanish government to galvanize support behind taking some drastic measures with the Basque separatists? The building was empty, so it is likely that no lives will be lost.


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