INTELLIGENCE AGENTS FIRED FOR NOT DETECTING ETA EXPLOSIVES

Six agents belonging to the Provincial Information Brigade in Bilbao were fired last week after it was discovered they had not listened to taped telephone conversations involving a suspected ETA terrorist which might have prevented recent car bomb attacks in the north of Spain. The Provincial Information Brigades have the specific function of keeping track of suspected ETA terrorists and their accomplices. The six men had been tapping Asier Borrero’s phone but terminated the operation in June this year after deciding that he was only interested in having a good time and doing drugs and probably had no connection with the Basque terrorist group. A few weeks later, on July 22, the Guardia Civil arrested nine members of the so-called Vizcaya complex, who had been running explosives over the French border. Several others managed to get away, among them Asier Borrero. When his name was mentioned by one of the detained, the taped conversations were given another listening. Borrero did talk about drugs but he also talked about transporting explosives from France to Santo Domingo de la Calzada in Rioja province. The same detainee had also mentioned several ETA hiding places, one of them in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Acting on that information, the Guardia subsequently discovered 100 kilos in the hide-out there in an operation which was supervised by National Court Judge Baltasar Garzón. The second listening also revealed that Borrero had had several conversations with members of the Vizcaya complex, which the six Brigade agents had failed to pick up.

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