Islamic suspect linked to film director's murder
20 December 2004, MADRID- Spanish police suspect that one of four Moroccans arrested in the Canary Islands is a leader of a Moroccan Islamic group that is believed to have ties to Al-Qaeda, it was reported.
20 December 2004
MADRID- Spanish police suspect that one of four Moroccans arrested in the Canary Islands is a leader of a Moroccan Islamic group that is believed to have ties to Al-Qaeda, it was reported.
Hassan El Haski, 41, who was wanted for his suspected role in the 11 March attacks on commuter trains in the Spanish capital which left 191 people dead, was believed by Spanish police to be "the head at the European level" of the Islamic Group of Moroccan Fighters, the Spanish daily El Mundo reported.
The group was founded in the 1990s by Moroccans who had fought the former Soviet-installed regime in Afghanistan.
Another Spanish daily, ABC, said he was also suspected of being behind the murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on 2 November in Amsterdam.
It said police in the Netherlands "have informed the Spanish police of its suspicions that he could be the person who ordered or planned the attack".
The four Moroccans were arrested on Friday on suspicion of membership of a radical Islamic group.
Investigators said the group was about to set up a logistical base in the archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa.
It is believed to be part of the extremist Jihad Salafist Movement and to have ties to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, they added.
The others arrested on the island of Lanzarote were the imam of the village of Puerto del Carmen, Abdallah Mourib, Ali Fahimi, 31, and Brahim Atia El Hammouchi, 40.
Haski, who was born in Guelmin, Morocco, has been under investigation for his suspected ties to the Islamic Group of Moroccan Fighters, which is suspected of having carried out bomb attacks in Casablanca in May last year that killed 45 people.
El Haski was transferred to Madrid late on Saturday in a military plane, with his three suspected accomplices. The four were expected to appear in Spain's highest court on Monday.
El Mundo said that his arrest came after a tip-off from French intelligence that a "potentially very dangerous" Islamic extremist was on the Canary Islands.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news