Below are translations from the Spanish of excerpts from two books--and an article--about the Anti-terrorist Liberation Groups (GAL). The translations were made from manually inputted text sent to me as an email in 1995 by investigative reporter Darrin Wood. I have not compared Mr. Wood's input against the printed texts.

The Spanish judicial investigations of GAL were far from complete when the two books were published (in 1988 and 1989, respectively). In the following years, various allegations that the authors of these books had properly described as unproven have been fleshed out with further detail and/or presented as evidence in courts of law. Between 1991 and 1998, a number of individuals were convicted of their involvement in GAL's illegal actions. Those found guilty included not only far-right mercenaries but also eight mid- to high-level Spanish police and security officials, including a former Interior Minister of the country's Socialist government.

LaRouche aide Herbert Quinde is referred to as "Gerald Kinde" in the excerpt from Arques and Miralles's work, and simply as "Kinde" in the Javier Garcia excerpt. His true identity only became known in 1995 when an El Mundo investigative team, which included Mr. Wood, showed former GAL participants a Hartford Courant photo of Quinde and obtained a positive identification. Read the El Mundo article in English translation here and the original version in Spanish here. The El Mundo article contains additional information from interviews with police and mercenary sources and from a CIA document released in response to a defense subpoena during LaRouche's 1988 federal court trial in Boston.--DK

From Amedo: El Estado Contra ETA ("Amedo: The State Against ETA") by Ricardo Arques and Melchor Miralles, Barcelona: Plaza y Janes/Cambio 16, 1989, pp. 151-153:

In the first months of 1983, Jesús Martínez Torres and Inspector Jose María Escudero, chief of the Central Intelligence Squad, ordered Mariano Baniandrs to meet with Gerald Kinde, the representative in Europe of the ultraright United States "Labor Party."

A meeting was scheduled with Kinde in Madrid, which took place in the month of March. Kinde appeared at the premises of the Squad, in Puerta del Sol in Madrid, accompanied by a French police official who had been introduced to him in the Spanish capital. During the meeting, which was attended by Martínez Torres and Escudero, as well as the two guests, there was discussion of the mistakes made by the BVE [FN 1] and an examination of the need to professionalize the "dirty war" against ETA.[FN 2] Kinde promised to provide contacts with "professional killers." For his part, the French official promised to contribute details, names, addresses, vehicles and schedules of ETA leaders living in France.

A few days later, a high-level meeting took place in the Ministry of the Interior. In attendance were: General Casinello and Colonel Ostos, as representatives of the GAIOE [FN 3]; Rafael Vera, Sub-Secretary of State for Security; Jesús Martínez Torres, Inspector General for Information; and Francisco Alvarez Sánchez, the top police official of Bilbao.[FN 4] At this time it was decided to act against ETA in France. Immediately afterward, orders were issued to define and control as much as possible the participation of Spanish police officers in this work. It was necessary to maximize precautions to the utmost--to avoid old mistakes.

This kind of meeting of the top officials of the Ministry of the Interior, something like an Antiterrorist Junta (although it is not called this officially), has been common in the department since the PSOE [FN 5] came to power. The same people usually attend--the Secretary of State for Security, the director and chief of staff of the Civil Guard, the director of the Police and other high-level participants in the antiterrorist struggle.

Various high officials of the Interior Ministry denied to the authors of this book that the meeting in question ever occurred. But it was confirmed by one of the participants with the proviso that his identity not be revealed. At this meeting the philosophy which ought to govern the struggle against the ETA was discussed, but no concrete organization or specific names were decided on for these "action groups," as they were called by those present. It is not always possible in the world of the police and the secret services to strictly adhere to official bureaucratic decisions. The reality of the mean streets sometimes results in official pronouncements being interpreted in unanticipated ways. The orders not to involve government officials in the "dirty war" against the ETA were not followed: not at the beginning, as we have noted, or--as we shall see--at the end.

After this high-level police meeting, a modest security company with offices in Madrid began to experience very busy days. The company, legally organized, had its offices in an apartment building in Orense Street, in the northern part of Madrid. The telephone number of the company appeared in the phone book together with a few simple abbreviations. Everything seemed to be normal. In spite of these appearances, however, a few details were not taken care of as meticulously as is characteristic of those who play such a dangerous game. The door had no exterior sign. No one answered the telephone. Nevertheless, the two telex lines were always jammed. From June to December 1983, according to witnesses, there were constant comings and goings to and from these offices by four young men dressed in sports clothes who were never separated from their black briefcases.

The young men left the office to go always to the same cafes. It was there that they met with members of the intelligence services of the Police and the Civil Guard. On more than one occasion, the meetings included a police official assigned to Bilbao. Tall and heavy-set, with chubby hands, he always wore a suit and sunglasses.

The directors of the mentioned security company were ex-police officers and businessmen. By chance or not, all of the ex-officers had been, in their day, closely linked to Inspector Roberto Conesa and his subordinate Antonio González Pacheco, "Billy the Kid." In the passports of three of them there were many stamps showing frequent trips to the Federal Republic of Germany, Great Britain and Israel. On their trips to this last country, they were sometimes accompanied by the policeman from Bilbao with whom they were so often seen in the Madrid cafes.

From Los GAL al Descubierto ("The GAL Revealed") by Javier Garcia, Madrid: El Pais-Aguilar, 1988, pp. 56-59:

The then head of the Interior Squad, Mariano Baniandrs, made possible the contact between the Inspector General of Intelligence, Jesús Martínez Torres, and the then head of the Central Intelligence Squad, Jose Maria Escudero, with the representative in Europe of the North American Labor Party, called Kinde. This party, directed by Lyndon LaRouche, who is considered the leader of a movement on the extreme right, has important intelligence-gathering offices throughout the world. The representative in Europe had provided many pieces of information to the Interior Squad and on occasion had suggested to the people in charge a future non-official meeting with agents of the French intelligence services.

It was necessary to try any methods to obtain information about ETA. A contact was established at the Puerta del Sol premises in Madrid, about the middle of 1983. Kinde, accompanied by a high official of the French intelligence services, met in Madrid with Martínez Torres, Escudero, Inspector Lorenzo Prez Corredera and Mariano Baniandrs.

The Spaniards wanted exhaustive information about the ETA activists in the south of France. The representative of the Labor Party asked, in return, for information about the widow of the Nazi soldier Otto Skorzeny, who had resided in Spain for some years.[FN 6]

The French official promised to pass on information on the addresses and movements of ETA activists and even proposed a "more direct cooperation" in the fight against ETA. The Spanish intelligence services had followed and watched this official in order to verify his identity by means of an "Apolo"--a camouflaged pursuit and surveillance vehicle with audiovisual capabilities. The agent was photographed from his arrival at Barajas airport and in a number of his movements. The representative of the Labor Party in Europe thereafter received a complete report on the widow of Skorzeny, while Jesús Martínez Torres took charge of relations with the French official.

It is significant that the judicial investigations in the neighboring country would succeed in proving the non-official participation of several members of the French security services in the activities of the GAL. Some mercenaries of the GAL had been arrested with copies of French police reports or of residency permits of ETA activists which could only have come from these official services. There does not seem to be much doubt about the functions of the GAL, although definite proof has not yet been obtained by the judicial investigators.

Once the terrorist machinery was authorized, someone was needed to directly and personally coordinate the actions, recruit the mercenaries and point out the objectives. Without any doubt, this person would have to be someone who knew the Basque region and was professionally and personally qualified to take in hand and coordinate this delicate mission. The profile was sketched out.

On October 13, 1983, Jos Ignacio Lasa and Jos Antonio Zabala, Basque refugees supposedly linked to ETA, disappeared mysteriously in the south of France. The action was not claimed by any terrorist group, although it had the unmistakeable mark of the GAL. Their bodies have never turned up, although there is a story about their kidnapping and subsequent transportation to Spain.[FN 7]

The terrorist group did not become known publicly until two months later when it took responsibility for the kidnapping of Segunto Marey, the first action for which it claimed responsibility.

The mercenary Daniel Fernández Aceña, convicted in Spain for the assassination of Jean Pierre Leiba, maintains that GAL members kidnapped two Basques and transported them in a boat to Fuenterrabía. The members of the group did not try to obtain information from them, Aceña maintains, since they knew that they didn’t have any valuable information about the ETA. The objective was to initiate the strategy of stress, to create nervousness in ETA circles, destroy the tranquility of the French sanctuary and force the administration of the neighboring country to collaborate in the antiterrorist struggle.[FN 8]

Aceña asserts that both of the kidnapped men were drugged and tortured during two weeks in a [safe house?] in Fuenterrabía until their strength was exhausted. The mercenary claims he does not know if Sub-Inspector Amedo [FN 9] organized the action, although he states that the Spanish police "were aware of it." "He met me," Aceña adds, "in the house of León Poplaski, [a naturalized U.S. citizen from Poland?], who was the senior military attaché and collaborated with the Guardia Civil. His wife was the Consul of Nicaragua."[FN 10] The mercenary learned about the kidnapping in this house.

Aceña claims that the two Basques were already in very poor condition when they arrived in Spain, due to the dose of pentothal which their kidnappers had given them. Some members of the security forces passed through the [safe house?] in Fuenterrabía. "I think they were keeping them on display," says Aceña, who admits to having participated in intelligence work for the GAL. He has promised to expand on his declarations if he becomes a prosecution witness--with the aim of reducing his 29-year prison sentence.

The member of the GAL provided to this journalist in the prison of Valladolid more details on the kidnapping of Lasa and Zabala. "To make them disappear, they called on a Belgian living in Málaga, an expert in this kind of action. This Belgian coats the cadavers with tire rubber, injects gasoline and grease into the bodies through the mouth and then burns them. Not a trace of them remains." However, the GAL member added that this Belgian finally decided not to perform this action, since he would have to transport the bodies to Málaga, which would involve too much risk. The kidnappers then decided to bury them on a mountain near Fuenterrabía, believing that no one would be able to find the bodies.

A court in San Sebastián has opened an investigation into the case, although at present there is no conclusive proof. Aceña has promised to cooperate if he receives protection and his status as a prosecution witness is taken into consideration.

The kidnapping and disappearance of Lasa and Zabala marked the beginning of a new phase of harassment of the ETA in the south of France. It was the GAL's letter of introduction, although the group did not publicly claim responsibility for the disappearance of the two refugees.

From an article by L.F. Rodríguez Guerrero in Derechos humanos ("Human Rights"), No. 34 (Sept.-Oct. 1991), p. 10:

Shortly thereafter, everyone knew that the GAL was the criminal group that was most organized, most skilled, with the best information and the most active of all those that carried out the "dirty war" against the ETA. Not only did it have the "veterans" of the times of the UCD,[FN 11] but also, during 1984, there collaborated with this gang a group of foreign professionals, directed by an ex-member of the British Special Air Service (SAS). This group, under the cover of a security and high technology firm with offices in Orense Street in Madrid, organized the infrastructure of units that managed to sow terror, unknown until then, among the militants of the ETA.[FN 12]

The foreign "professionals" soon abandoned the group, for reasons that are still unknown. The SAS agent moved to a place on the Spanish Costa del Sol, where he led in the following years a relaxed life without being bothered by the security forces, in spite of the existence of four international detention orders against him.

Notes by Dennis King:

[1] The Basque Spanish Battalion (BVE), created by the Spanish police in 1978, was a death squad composed mostly of neo-fascist mercenaries. The BVE and two death squads left over from the Franco regime were responsible for about 500 attacks on ETA members and Basque civilians unconnected to ETA between 1975 and 1980. Their methods included bombings, assassinations, and the rape--apparently as a means of community intimidation--of numerous Basque women.

[2] ETA stands for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Freedom), an armed leftwing nationalist organization. It was formed in 1959, when the Basques were being brutally oppressed by the Franco regime, and turned to violence several years later. It has continued its low-intensity war against a succession of democratically elected post-Franco governments. LaRouche publications were obsessed with ETA in the 1980s and 1990s, regarding it as an instrument of the "British oligarchy" in the latter's efforts to destroy European civilization and usher in a new Dark Age.

[3] The Intelligence and Special Operations Committee, answerable to the Director of State Security.

[4] Bilbao is the largest city of the Basque region of northern Spain as well as being the capital of the province of Biscay.

[5] The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), commonly referred to simply as the Socialist Party, dominated the government of Spain from 1982 to 1996. The GAL scandal was one of the major reasons it lost the 1996 elections. It would return to power in 2004.

[6] Waffen-SS Standartenfuhrer Otto Skorzeny (1908-1975) is widely believed to have controlled ODESSA, the network of ex-SS officers that helped Nazis such as Eichmann and Mengele escape to Latin America after the war. Swirling around the ODESSA story are rumors of a secret horde of Nazi gold. My guess is that LaRouche, swollen with fantasies of being the new Hitler, had decided he was entitled to this Nazi nest egg and was trying to find out where it had been invested.

[7] The bodies of Zabala and Lasa were finally found in March 1995. According to the Euskal Herria Journal, "[b]oth corpses showed signs of extensive beatings and torture, including loss of teeth, finger and toe nails. They were killed by blows to the skull followed by shots in the back of the head. Their bodies were buried in quicklime."

[8] This was similar to the strategy for fighting against ETA that had been urged in an Executive Intelligence Review article the previous year co-authored by LaRouche follower Elisabeth Hellenbroich (the sister-in-law of Heribert Hellenbroich, a top official of West Germany's Federal Bureau of Constitutional Protection (BfV) and its director from 1983-1985).

[9] This is apparently Jose Amedo, one of the death squad organizers and a top Bilbao police official at the time. Amedo would be sentenced in 1991 to life in prison for his role in GAL-related violence.

[10] Although the statement in Spanish about Poplaski and his wife (and their respective jobs) is phrased unclearly, there is no indication--in the excerpt from which our translation was made--that they had anything to do with the GAL. Apparently they were mentioned by the book's author merely to show that Aceña had been able to provide potentially verifiable information about the location and time of his purported conversation with Amedo.

[11] The Union of the Democratic Center (UCD) was a political coalition (and later a political party) of the center-right that played a key role in the transition to democracy after the 1975 death of Francisco Franco. The UCD, now defunct, was founded by Adolpho Suarez, who served as Prime Minister from 1977-81. The reference to the "times of the UDC" is an allusion to the wave of violence perpetrated against Basques by the BVE and other death squads between 1975 and 1980 (see footnote 1).

[12] Even after the role of the former 1SAS member in setting up the GAL was revealed, the LaRouchians continued to insist that the GAL's target, ETA, was controlled by British intelligence in collusion with the Jesuits.

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