updated 7/11/2007 6:15:59 PM ET 2007-07-11T22:15:59

A suspected member of the Basque separatist group ETA who was arrested by police had planned to destroy a public building, the interior minister said Wednesday.

Aritz Arginzoniz Zubiarre, who was detained Tuesday at a bus station in Santander, had planned to detonate a car bomb “against a public building in the next few days,” Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told a news conference.

In another arrest, French police — in collaboration with Spanish investigators — detained two suspected ETA members in Angouleme, 74 miles northeast of Bordeaux, the Interior Ministry said.

The suspects, both men, were armed, the ministry said. Media reports said one weapon was of the same type as 300 stolen in October from a company in Vauvert, a theft blamed on ETA.

Arginzoniz Zubiarre — who the ministry said was carrying a pistol, a timer and false identity documents when he was arrested — had drawn attention by carrying a backpack. When officers moved in to identify him, he told them he was an ETA member.

“ETA is going to keep on trying to attack, but we are going to keep on trying to make sure they don’t succeed,” Perez Rubalcaba said.

Media reports, citing unidentified police investigators, said Arginzoniz Zubiarre was waiting for explosives and a car when arrested.

Two potential targets
The newspaper El Pais said on its Web site that the suspect had details of at least two potential targets, one a courthouse in Santander and another the ferry linking the city with Portsmouth in Britain.

Newspaper El Mundo said Arginzoniz Zubiarre may have been planning attacks with his girlfriend, named as Saioa Sanchez Iturregi. El Mundo said police were looking for Sanchez Iturregi, citing unnamed police investigators.

On July 4, Rubalcaba said ETA planned a bomb attack for the end of last week. The attack was thwarted when French authorities intercepted a van packed with explosives.

Rubalcaba had said the group planned the attack for sometime during Spain’s state of the nation parliamentary debate last week. The planned attack’s location and target were unknown, he said.

ETA has killed more than 800 people since 1968 in its campaign for an independent Basque state.

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