France Arrests Basque Terror Group's Leader

ETA's No. 1 busted in joint police sting with Spanish
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2008 9:48 AM CDT
French police officers are parked in front of the house where Spanish and French authorities arrested Javier López Peña.   (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
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(Newser) – The suspected leader of the ETA, the Basque separatist group and terrorist organization, has been arrested by a joint Spanish and French police operation. Some 30 armed officers raided the Bordeaux apartment of Javier López Peña, who is believed to have headed the ETA since 2004. López Peña has been a police target since 1983, and his arrest constitutes a major setback for the group, writes the Guardian.

López Peña allegedly orchestrated the 2006 car bombing at Madrid's airport that shattered the ceasefire between ETA and Spain. Since then, ETA has been blamed for more than 20 attacks, including one that killed a police officer in Spain's Basque country only last week. Spanish media reported that police tracked down López Peña by tailing his girlfriend, who is a lawyer for ETA suspects in France.