July 13, 2024 | 6:25


The Ertzaintza uncovers Aznar's operation to implicate ETA in the 11M attacks

The Ertzaintza uncovers Aznar's operation to implicate ETA in the 11M attacks

Jeickson Sulbaran

March 11, 2024 | 3:00 p.m.

Confidential information from Ertzaintza about Aznar reveals attempts to link ETA with Al Qaeda after 11M to influence elections.

The March 12 of 2004, one day after the devastating Atocha attacks, which shook the foundations of Spanish society, marking a before and after in the history of terrorism in Europe, the anti-terrorist services of the Ertzaintza prepared a report that would shed light about the dark political maneuvers at play over Aznar. This document, marked with the classification code "secret", not only intended to unravel the immediate consequences of the attack but, more importantly, would reveal attempts by the Government of José María Aznar to manipulate public perception regarding the perpetrators of the attack. .

Through the pages of this Ertzaintza report on Aznar, we witness how the executive, in a moment of desperation and with the general elections around the corner, mobilized the agents of the National Intelligence Center in the Basque Country . Their mission: to find any evidence that could link ETA to the attack, a connection that, if established, could have tipped the electoral balance in favor of the Popular Party. However, this was not a task based on solid evidence but on the creation of a convenient narrative; a narrative that, if successful, would not only have distorted the truth but would have also diverted attention from the real culprits, members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

The intricate network of espionage and manipulation

The role of 'Zulo', a confidant of the Basque police, It turns out to be crucial in this framework. Through their information, we get a glimpse of the desperate efforts by the Government to associate ETA with the attacks., even when the evidence pointed in the other direction. The pressure to find a connection, any connection, was such that leads as weak as a supposed Italian website suggesting links between the Basque organization and Arab groups were explored. A frantic search for evidence, not to get closer to the truth, but to shape it for political convenience.

This maneuver, far from being an isolated act, It is part of a broader practice of political manipulation that seeks to capitalize on fear and uncertainty to obtain electoral benefits. However, the Ertzaintza's confidential document, far from remaining in darkness, came to light, revealing the layers of manipulation and exposing attempts to distort reality in times of national crisis.

The truth emerges from the shadows about Ertzaintza and the Aznar Government

The insistence on linking ETA to Al Qaeda, despite the lack of substantial evidence, raises serious questions about ethics and responsibility in the exercise of power. This episode, far from being a mere chapter in the history of terrorism in Spain, becomes a case study in how politics can interfere in investigations of terrorist acts, with potential consequences on public perception and the democratic process.

The Ertzaintza uncovers Aznar's operation to implicate ETA in the 11M attacks

The confidential report, and everything it represents, forces us to reflect ondiscusses the importance of integrity, transparency and honesty in information management, especially in times of crisis. It reminds us that the truth, although sometimes uncomfortable, is fundamental to justice and the memory of the victims of such atrocities.

This document is not only a testimony to the events that followed March 11, 2004, but also a lesson in the importance of questioning, of seeking the truth beyond convenient narratives and of remembering that, in times of crisis, the The temptation to manipulate reality may be strong, but the need to resist it is even greater. shocked the heart of Madrid and left a deep scar in the collective memory of Spain, a "secret" report emerged from the shadows of the Ertzaintza anti-terrorist services on Aznar, coded with the number 101L0400250. This document, titled “Repercussions of the Atocha Attack,” not only shed light on the tragic hours that followed the attack but also revealed a covert operation desperately seeking to link ETA to Al Qaeda ahead of a critical general election.

A frantic search for non-existent associations

The report revealed how the government of José María Aznar, then in power, had mobilized agents from the National Intelligence Center (CNI) in Euskadi with a clear objective: to find any clue, no matter how tenuous, that could link ETA with the perpetrators of the attack. This maneuver was nothing more than an attempt at political manipulation by Ertzaintza over Aznar, an effort to influence public opinion and the ballot boxes, under the premise that, if they failed to establish this connection, the consequences would be catastrophic for them. "If this was not achieved, everyone would go on unemployment," reflects the document, crudely exposing the underlying intentions.

The report, marked by the urgency and errors typical of work carried out under pressure, was based on information provided by a highly qualified confidant, known by the nickname 'Zulo'. This individual, considered of maximum reliability within the intelligence structure of the Ertzaintza, had been contacted by the CNI in a desperate attempt to establish the aforementioned connection between ETA and the jihadists.

The challenge to the truth

As the hours passed and the reality of events set in, the government's strategy began to fall apart. Despite attempts to create confusion and establish forced links, the evidence pointed in another direction from Ertzaintza to Aznar. The presence of a car with explosives and documents in Arabic, far from confirming the initial theory, began to suggest the authorship of Al Qaeda, a hypothesis that was completely removed from any involvement of ETA.

This search for forced associations not only evidenced political manipulation in moments of crisis, but also reflected a disconnection with the operational reality of the terrorist groups involved from Ertzaintza to Aznar. The government, in its desire to control the narrative, was in a race against the truth, trying by all means to shape public perception before the facts prevail.

The initial response of Lehendakari Juan José Ibarretxe and Arnaldo Otegi's refusal to accept ETA's responsibility for the massacre, Together with the growing evidence pointing to jihadism, they revealed the complexity and sensitivity of the political and social panorama of the time.. The manipulation of information at such critical moments not only played with the political destiny of a party or government, but also deeply affected society, which sought answers and comfort in the midst of chaos and pain.

The attempted manipulation revealed by Aznar's Ertzaintza report on the 11M attacks is a grim reminder of how, in moments of crisis, the truth can be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. This revelation not only sheds light on the dark corners of the management of the 11M crisis, but also offers a crucial lesson about the importance of transparency, integrity and accountability in the exercise of power.

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