Islamic radicals 'plotting attacks inside prison'

21st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 October 2004, MADRID - Spain's top anti-terrorism judge will question Friday jailed Islamic extremists who are accused of plotting to bomb the country's top criminal court.

21 October 2004

MADRID - Spain's top anti-terrorism judge will question Friday jailed Islamic extremists who are accused of plotting to bomb the country's top criminal court.

Officials and political figures are concerned that Islamic terrorists may be using the nation's prisons to their advantage to organise and communicate with one another.

Judge Baltasar Garzon, who is also in charge of investigating suspected al-Qaeda activities in Spain, will take statements on Friday from 10 North African inmates of Spanish prisons believed linked to an alleged terror cell accused of planning to attack the country's top criminal court, the Audencia Nacional.

The main opposition Popular Party, defeated at the polls in March after Islamic terrorists blew up four commuter trains on the eve of the elections, says "a lack of control and chaos" characterize the situation of Muslim extremists in the country's jails.

Judge Baltasar Garzon will also question Saturday eight Islamic extremists arrested Tuesday in connection with a planned attack on the court.

Investigators so far have turned up books belonging to one of the suspects that justify martyrdom, reinforcing the hypothesis that the group was planning a suicide attack.

Garzon is scheduled to question the eight suspects on Saturday.

Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said Tuesday that the eight men arrested this week "were devising" an attack on the headquarters of the Audiencia Nacional or some other judicial body" in the Spanish capital.

The Audiencia Nacional handles high-profile cases such as terrorism and drug trafficking.

The suspects to be questioned Friday all hail from North African nations and have been placed in isolation. Three of the men belong to Algeria's Armed Islamic Group and had already been charged in connection with the March 11 attacks in Madrid that left nearly 200 people dead.

Six March 11 suspects, including the suspected cell leader, Allekema Lamari, killed themselves in early April as Spanish police surrounded their hideout.

Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar supported recommendations to isolate and separate Muslim extremist inmates, a measure he said would also cut down on the activities typical of organized crime.

Lopez also said Madrid will eventually seek the extradition of Mohammed Achraf from Swiss authorities. Achraf, currently jailed in Zurich, is believed to be the head of the terror cell broken up this week.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

0 Comments To This Article