May 24, 1978: Killing of alleged ETA supporter in Spain

On May 24, 1978 the Battalon Vasco-Espanol claimed the murder of a taxi driver in northern Spain it accused of helping the ETA terrorist group.

OYARZUN, SPAIN – It can be a dangerous decision to back a terrorist group, or even to be accused of backing one.

Terrorist groups like to present themselves as underdogs, brave bunches of guys (and sometimes gals) whose sole goal is to right wrongs and undo injustices. Their targets are usually painted as the agents of the state, that leviathan that is behind all kinds of nastiness.

With this in mind, what do we do when a terrorist group goes after an average Joe? Even if that person is accused of aiding another terrorist group? Is this terrorism ‘oneupmanship‘?

On this day in May 1978

The self-described ‘Battalon Vasco-Espanol‘ (Basque-Spanish Batallion) claimed the murder of a taxi driver in Oyarzun, in the north of Spain associated with the Basque country. The extremists maintained the cabby had aided an ETA terrorist escape after he had killed a town councilor in Irun.

Tenemos una lista de 54 abertzales que morirán como Merquelanz. Viva la unidad de España. (We have a list of 54 Basque sympathisers who will die like Merquelanz. Long live Spanish unity)

Battalon Vasco-Espanol spokesperson

So one group kills someone associated with another group, which then seeks revenge by killing someone of the former. And it goes on and on and on…

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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