Aznar government 'ignored secret servicepleas to catch Madrid bombers'
18 October 2004, MADRID - The Spanish interior ministry under the former conservative government ignored requests by the secret services to locate the suspected head of the group that carried out the Madrid train bombings, it was reported Monday.
18 October 2004
MADRID - The Spanish interior ministry under the former conservative government ignored requests by the secret services to locate the suspected head of the group that carried out the Madrid train bombings, it was reported Monday.
The Spanish daily El Pais said officials from the National Intelligence Centre in November 2003 alerted the interior ministry about Allekema Lamari, an Algerian, who had been released from prison in June 2002.
At this time, the former government of Jose Maria Aznar was in power.
The Centre had indications that Lamari was in Madrid to prepare a large-scale attack but could not track him down by itself so asked for help from the interior ministry.
However, there was no response to the plea, nor was another request on 6 March, five days before the Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people and injured 1,900 in Spain's worst ever terror attack, the newspaper said.
The Centre again insisted on the role played by Lamari within the group which carried out the attacks and called during a meeting of security services for his photograph to be included urgently among the most wanted suspects.
But again its request was not taken into account.
The interior ministry has declined to comment Monday.
Spanish authorities on Friday confirmed the identification of Lamari as the seventh suspect among a group who blew themselves up in a police raid at a flat just outside Madrid in the wake of the 11 March blasts.
Meanwhile, some of the key figures in suicide bombings in Casablanca, Morocco, in May 2003 as well as the Madrid attacks were pointed out to Spanish police from 2002 by a Moroccan imam in Madrid, the Spanish daily El Mundo said.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news