Here is the AP story on the bombings in Madrid this morning: “At least 190 dead in Madrid terror blast.” We visited Madrid this past summer in part to express our appreciation for Spain’s support of our war against Islamofascism. We now stand with our Spanish friends in their outrage and express our deepest sympathies for their loss.
UPDATE: It is unclear whether the massacre is the work of Basque ETA or Islamic terrorists. Spanish government spokesmen have indicated the former; this UPI report summarizes possible reasons to suspect the latter:
First, ETA generally warns Spanish authorities moments before launching their attacks in which civilians are likely to be harmed. This, obviously, was not the case on Thursday.
Second, ETA traditionally targets representatives of the government or the administration, such as policemen, the military, magistrates or even journalists who oppose them.
Third, ETA customarily selects “symbolic” targets, such as military barracks and administrative buildings. Although ETA’s largest attack to date was in 1987 against a supermarket in Barcelona that killed 21 people, this was the exception rather than the norm.
Fourth, ETA always claims its attacks. Following any ETA bombing, ETA militants call in a claim to Spanish authorities. This failed to happen this time.
Fifth, ETA has never in the past carried out multiple attacks. According to some sources, at least 10 bombs were detonated almost simultaneously on Thursday.
On the other hand, these murderous attacks bear the traditional hallmark of al-Qaida: multiple bombs detonating a few seconds apart and programmed to cause the largest possible number of human casualties.
We will keep an eye out for additional information. (Courtesy of Best of the Web Today; thanks to reader Dr. David Pence for requesting clarification.)
UPDATE 2: Reuters reports: “Spain says suspect van had Arabic tapes.” As the German intelligence officer laments in the UPI report linked above, it appears that “now the war has reached Europe.”
UPDATE 3: “Purported Qaeda letter claims Spain bombings.”
UPDATE 4: “Van, detonators, Koran tapes found.”