Investigations carried out by the Guardia Civil had demonstrated the existence of someone, a specialist in computer programs, who would have undertaken specific tasks in this field for the terrorist group ETA.
The first information in this regard appeared in coded form among the documentation seized on 20 May 2008 after the arrest of various members of the political arm of ETA, among them Francisco JAVIER LOPEZ PEÑA, alias "Thierry".
The inquiries undertaken subsequently led to the identification of this person as Iraitz Gesalaga, with knowledge of IT-related matters, who was living in a semi-clandestine fashion in France after having left his home town of Zarautz, Guipuzcoa, several months previously.
According to the police investigations, Iraitz Gesalaga was one of the top IT experts that ETA had at the time and was responsible for the latest innovations by the terrorist group in such fields as steganography and cryptology, which are used to disguise and encode messages and documents. It is possible that his partner, Itxaso URTIAGA VALDERRAMA, helped him in this work. She was also arrested during the operation on Tuesday morning.
Furthermore, the security forces are investigating the involvement of the two arrested individuals in an ETA-FARC IT-related project that is referred to in the documentation seized from "Thierry".
These latest arrests represent an important blow to ETA and to its technical capacity in matters related to computers and IT, a field of great importance for the internal operation of the group and the links between its members.
The operation has not been closed and further arrests have not been ruled out.