French police arrest Eta member linked to Aznar assassination attempt
French police have arrested a member of the Basque separatist movement, Eta, Juan Maria Mugica, who was allegedly linked to a planned missile attack on former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar in 2001.
Mugica was detained near the city of Pau in south-western France, Spain's interior ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
The arrest was the fruit of a joint operation between French police and Spain’s Guardia Civil, who arrested another member of his unit, Pedro Maria Olano, in 2010.
Olano reportedly told investigators that three attempts to shoot down Aznar’s plane failed after material provided by the Irish Republican Army failed to work.
Aznar lost the 2004 general election after his right-wing Popular Party continued to blame Eta for the Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people, even after evidence appeared that it was the work of an Islamist group.