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Monday, 21 May, 2001, 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK
Terrorist handbook reveals 'secret of success'
ETA members announcing end of 14-month ceasefire in late 1999
ETA concerned at number of 'commandos' being captured
Outlawed Basque separatist group ETA has reportedly produced a handbook for new recruits which spells out the secrets of avoiding capture and being "a good activist".

Extracts from the document have been published by the Madrid daily ABC, which said the "extensive handbook" was produced in an effort to cut the number of captures of ETA members by Spanish police and security forces.

The secret of the success of a good activist lies in him having a normal family, social and working life

ETA "handbook"
"The reasons for a capture are very varied and complex," says the document, supposedly aimed at the youth wing of the Basque separatist movement.

"Nevertheless, we could prevent 80% of them if we followed absolute, strict security rules.

"The secret of the success of a good activist lies in him having a normal family, social and working life, with no-one realising or suspecting his underground activities," the book says.

Don't forget danger

Supporters fly the ETA flag
Manual is aimed a young recruits

The handbook cautions recruits not to expect a short campaign.

"The struggle is long, sometimes interminable - it is not a matter of months but of years," the book says.

"This, combined with the fact that the activist is generally not a `professional' but must continue his everyday life, leads to a gradual giving up of the 'method' that has been learnt, especially when inactivity or respite from the police make us forget the danger."

Shooting practice

The organisation offers recruits guidance on how to maintain strict discipline on security matters and gives tips on training with arms and explosives.

Practice with explosives, grenades, bombs etc will always be conducted underground or underwater

ETA handbook
"Shooting practice will always be conducted using silencers in galleries, caves, mountain country, that is to say so that no-one can hear them."

"Practice with explosives, grenades, bombs etc will always be conducted underground or underwater so that the detonation and effects will be muffled as far as possible," it says.

Once the training course is over, "at the place where it is held clues about persons, origin, dates, and newspapers will have to be eliminated and papers, cigarette ends, packaging and tins will have to be destroyed."

Unnecessary contacts forbidden

ETA warns its recruits against forming "dangerous friendships" that could compromise the security of activist cells.

"Fifty per cent of arrests are because of "grassing" on people who ought not to be known but who are known totally or partially ... In our organization any contact between activists who do not work together is totally forbidden", the handbook says.

The handbook also allegedly reveals ETA plans to set up an "internal security service" to monitor the activities of members.

ETA warns recruits that the service will show "particular vigilance" in hunting down and executing moles in the organization.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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See also:

14 May 01 | Europe
Nationalists win Basque poll
06 May 01 | Europe
Spanish politician shot dead
07 May 01 | Media reports
Press condemns ETA attack
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