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Cablegate: Spain/Eta: False Alarm at Ibiza Airport

VZCZCXRO1850
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #1291 1840737
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 030737Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2908
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 2863

UNCLAS MADRID 001291

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN/ETA: FALSE ALARM AT IBIZA AIRPORT


1. (U) Spanish media outlets reported on June 30 that a bomb
threat was called in by a member of the Basque terrorist
group ETA to the Basque publication "Gara" warning of an
explosive device at the airport on the Spanish island of
Ibiza, a big international tourist destination. ETA
frequently uses Gara as a conduit to advise Spanish
authorities that the group has placed a bomb in a specific
location. According to Spanish police, no bomb was actually
found, but as a result of the false alarm, 4,000 people were
evacuated from the airport after a suspicious package was
found by security officials. Some witnesses told police that
they heard a loud explosion, but police said that the noise
had been created by a robot used to defuse bombs.

2. (U) The reaction of Spanish security officials to the bomb
threat exhibits the high state of alert in Spain after ETA
broke its "permanent" ceasefire in early June. June 30
marked the first official day of the summer holiday travel
season, and a total of 13,000 passengers were reportedly
affected by the hoax. The situation was resolved quickly and
after three hours Ibiza officials reopened the airport. Some
Spanish authorities speculate that ETA will not resort to
fatal attacks, but instead will target the tourism industry
in an attempt to exact maximum damage to the Spanish economy
during the height of the tourist season.
AGUIRRE

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