First of October Anti-fascist Resistance Group (GRAPO)
The First of October Anti-fascist Resistance Group (GRAPO, or Grupo de Resistencia Anti-Fascista Primero de Octubre ) was formed in 1975 as the armed wing of the illegal Communist Party of Spain during the Franco era. Advocating the overthrow of the Spanish Government and replacement with a Marxist-Leninist regime, GRAPO is vehemently anti-U.S., calls for the removal of all U.S. military forces from Spanish territory, and has conducted and attempted several attacks against U.S. targets since 1977. The group issued a communiqué following the 11 September attacks in the United States, expressing its satisfaction that "symbols of imperialist power" were decimated and affirming that "the war" has only just begun. GRAPO has killed more than 90 persons and injured more than 200. The group's operations traditionally have been designed to cause material damage and gain publicity rather than inflict casualties, but the terrorists have conducted lethal bombings and close-range assassinations. In May, 2000, the group killed two security guards during a botched armed robbery attempt of an armored truck carrying an estimated $2 million, and in November, 2000, members assassinated a Spanish policeman in a possible reprisal for the arrest that month of several GRAPO leaders in France. The group also has bombed business and official sites of the Madrid headquarters of the ruling Popular Party, including the Barcelona office of the national daily El Mundo in October 2000, when two police officers were injured.
Operating in Spain, GRAPO's exact strength is unknown, but likely has fewer than a dozen dedciated activists. Spanish and French officials have made periodic large-scale arrests of GRAPO members, crippling the organization and forcing it into lengthy rebuilding periods. The French and Spanish arrested several key leaders in 2001.
█ FURTHER READING:
CDI (Center for Defense Information), Terrorism Project. CDI Fact Sheet: Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. March 27, 2003. < http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/terrorist.cfm > (April 17, 2003).
Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook, 2002. < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ > (April 16, 2003).
Taylor, Francis X. U.S. Department of State. "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001," Annual Report: On the Record Briefing. May 21, 2002 < http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/rm/10367.htm > (April 17, 2003).
U.S. Department of State. Annual Reports. < http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/annual_reports.html > (April 16, 2003).