US puts ETA leader on terrorist list
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
A Black&White file photo dated 19 June 1987 shows a general view of the parking lot of the 'Hipercor' supermarket in Barcelona, northeastern Spain, shortly after a terrorist bomb attack by the Basque ETA group. EPA photoThe United States on Thursday put a leader of the Basque ETA movement detained in France on its terror list, freezing any assets he may have within US territory.
Aitzol Iriondo Yarza was awaiting extradition to Spain on terrorism and murder charges, the State Department said in a statement.
Designating him as a terrorist would "help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to this ETA leader," it added.
"Iriondo's status as a long-term ETA member and his engagement in terrorist activities such as murder, bombings, recruiting, training and providing logistical support for a terrorist organization, constitute a threat to US interests," the statement said.
"Spain and the EU have also listed Iriondo as a terrorist." The armed Basque separatist group ETA was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States in 1997.
It is "responsible for killing more than 800 civilians, police and military personnel, and injuring thousands of people since it formally began its campaign of violence in 1968," the State Department said.
But after a series of arrests since 2008, the US estimates that only about 100 ETA members remain at large.
ETA announced in October last year the "definitive" end to a campaign of bombings and shootings to try to carve out an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southern France.