Spain: Arrested Eight People On Charges Of Alleged Terrorism


Early on Monday morning, officers of the Spanish Guardia Civil arrested eight people for their alleged involvement in the attack on two Spanish Guardia Civil officers and their partners on October 15 in the town of Alsasua in Navarre. The arrests took place in the municipalities of Pamplona and Alsasua (Navarre), Salvatierra and Vitoria (Alava), and in Madrid.

Operation ‘Ausiki’ was carried out in various towns of the Autonomous Region of Navarre, the Basque Country and Madrid. The arrested individuals are being taken to Spanish Guardia Civil facilities in Madrid, the Spanish government said.

In the early morning of October 15, two Spanish Guardia Civil officers and their respective partners were the subject of an attack carried out by a group of some 40-50 individuals near the Koxka bar in Alsasua (Navarre), an establishment where threats and insults had previously been made against the officers.

Due to their involvement in the aggression, two people were initially arrested on charges of attacking and causing injury to figures of authority.

Subsequently, the Association of Victims of Terrorism (Spanish acronym: COVITE) reported a possible terrorist offence to the Spanish National High Court, ordering the Central Criminal Investigation Court Number 3 of the Spanish National High Court to launch a number of proceedings, which included instructing the Spanish Guardia Civil to urgently draft a report based on the events.

The investigations carried out by the Spanish Guardia Civil led to the identification of various individuals who took part in the aggressions on October 15 in Alsasua against the two Spanish Guardia Civil officers and their partners. Those individuals were arrested on Monday morning.

The arrested individuals are being taken to Spanish Guardia Civil facilities in Madrid.

The aggressions formed part of the so-called ‘Alde Hemendik’ (‘Get out’) movement created by the terrorist group ETA and the outlawed KAS-EKIN to demand the withdrawal of State Law Enforcement Agencies and the Army from the Basque Country and Navarre. In the case of Alsasua (Navarre), the ‘Alde Hemendik’ movement acts under the name of ‘Ospa Mugimendua’ (‘Ospa movement’). This movement was launched on September 3, 2011 with an act called the ‘King’s Speech’, changing its name the following year to ‘Ospa Eguna’ (‘Day of the Flight’), an event that has been celebrated in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 with acts mainly involving representations and parodies against the Spanish Guardia Civil, although also against symbols of the State.

According to the Spanish government, the operation carried out on Monday is a demonstration of the firm commitment by the Spanish Guardia Civil to maintain the principles of the rule of law and a clear example that those responsible for any criminal action will be investigated by the Spanish Guardia Civil until such time that they are brought to justice.

The operation remains active and further arrests have not been ruled out.

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