Counter-terror by proxy

The Spanish State's illicit war with ETA

By Emmanuel Pierre Guittet

Counter-terror by proxy


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5882-6
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: July 2021
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / Spain & Portugal, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Terrorism, Society & social sciences / Comparative politics, Society & social sciences / Terrorism, armed struggle, Spain, European Politics
  • Series: New Approaches to Conflict Analysis


Counter-Terror by Proxy sheds lights on a fascinating and intriguing case of illiberal practices in a liberal regime where Spanish State agencies colluded with mercenaries and petty criminals in order to kill members of the Basque militant group ETA and push the French Government towards more cooperation in the fight against Basque terrorism.It assesses the political and institutional context of the inception of this blatant detour from legality, interrogating the logics and rationale at stake and offers a thorough examination of the implications of the use of unorthodox counter-terrorist strategies in a liberal democracy.


1 Arch-enemy: Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Country and Freedom, ETA)
2 Continuity: Francoist legacy and Transition to Democracy
3 Controversy: extradition, Political offence exception and the French sanctuary
4 Monstrous mimicry: actions and actors of the Antiterrorist Liberation Group (GAL)
5 Sacrifice: code of silence, political scandal and strategies of denial
6 Symbolic violence: diplomatic embarrassment and European Democratic Identity
Conclusion: State-terrorism, deceptive organisation and proxy



Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet is Research Associate at Centre d'Etudes sur les Conflits, Liberté et Sécurité (Paris, France) and at University of Cambridge's Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement (Cambridge, United Kingdom)

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