Anti-terror police chief denies attack warnings
25 October 2004, MADRID - The head of Spain's elite anti-terrorist police unit claimed Monday he had not received any warnings of Islamic terrorist attacks before the Madrid massacre.
25 October 2004
MADRID - The head of Spain's elite anti-terrorist police unit claimed Monday he had not received any warnings of Islamic terrorist attacks before the Madrid massacre.
Rafael Gomez Menor, head of the unit Central External Information Unit (UCIE), told the parliamentary commission into the terrorist attacks that his unit had not received any warnings from either the Spanish intelligence forces or foreign security services.
Menor, who has 20 years of experience combating terrorism, said there had been no warnings prior to the attacks on 11 March in which 191 people were killed.
The parliamentary commission into the events surrounding the Madrid terrorist attacks was expected to examine Monday how soon after the bombings security forces realised Islamic radicals had carried out the attacks.
The all-party commission were also expected to hear evidence about whether the security forces are now sufficiently prepared to combat Islamic terrorism.
Menor, who was the first witness Monday, will be followed by an officer from this unit, Mariano Rayon, who is an expert in Islamic terrorism.
Rayon is expected to tell the commission that the police started to work on the theory that an Islamic terrorist group were behind the attacks.
Another witness will be the head of prosecution from Aviles in Asturias in northern Spain, Gerardo Herrero.
He is expected to tell the hearing that an investigation into the theft of explosives from a mine in that area, which were later used in the attacks, was stopped in 2003, months before the attacks.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news