Extradited Madrid 'bomber' is returned to Italy

18th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 April 2005, MADRID - Rabei Ousmane Sayed Ahmed, a prime suspect in the Madrid bombings, has been returned to Italy following a five-month extradition.

18 April 2005

MADRID - Rabei Ousmane Sayed Ahmed, a prime suspect in the Madrid bombings, has been returned to Italy following a five-month extradition.

Ahmed, also known as 'Mohamed the Egyptian', left Madrid's Barajas airport shortly before 1.00pm on board a commercial flight to the northern Italian city of Milan, where he was to be handed over to Italian authorities.

Detained last June in Italy, where he also faces charges for membership of a terrorist organisation, Ahmed had been extradited to Spain on 7 December to face questioning over the attacks, which killed 191 people and wounded 1,900.

During questioning by Spanish judge Juan Del Olmo, he admitted to knowing of some of the 25 suspects, most of them Moroccans, held over the attacks.

He is reported to have spoken about organising the attacks during telephone conversations with associates that were recorded by Italy's secret service.

Ahmed is understood to have been in Italy at the time of the blasts but spent time in 2003 in the Madrid district of Lavapies, home to several of the presumed bombers.

According to a Spanish judicial official, he may be returned to Spain for further questioning at a later stage.

However, Spanish media have quoted experts as saying that although he played a key role in recruiting operatives for Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network in Europe, he had probably not masterminded the 11 March bombings.

The coordinated attacks on four Madrid commuter trains have been blamed on Al-Qaeda and were seen as a revenge attack by Islamic extremists for Spain's backing for the US-led war in Iraq.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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