The Department of State has designated Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) veteran Jose Antonio Urruticoechea Bengoechea (AKA Ternera) under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Jose Antonio Urruticoechea Bengoechea has any interest is blocked and any assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him. This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to this ETA leader.
Urruticoechea’s status as a long term ETA member and his engagement in terrorist activities such as murder, bombings, recruiting, training, and providing logistical support for a terrorist organization, constitute a threat to U.S. interests. Urruticoechea is wanted for terrorism and the murder of 11 people. He has played a decisive role in ETA’s terrorist activities for decades, both from prison, where he spent more than ten years, and for more than a decade as a fugitive from justice.
ETA, designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997, is responsible for killing more than 800 civilians, police, and military personnel, and injuring thousands since it formally began its campaign of violence in 1968. ETA has primarily used bombings and assassinations, targeting Spanish government officials, security and military forces, politicians, businessmen, judicial figures, journalists, and tourists. Between 2007 and 2010, more than 400 ETA members have been arrested. Since 2008, Spanish and French authorities have apprehended a number of ETA’s top leaders. These arrests have significantly reduced the group’s activities.