Islamic terrorists 'wanted to work with ETA'
1 June 2004, MADRID – The former government of José María Aznar knew 24 hours after the 11 March attacks that al-Qaeda had allegedly asked ETA to collaborate with it, according to reports Tuesday.
1 June 2004
MADRID – The former government of José María Aznar knew 24 hours after the 11 March attacks that al-Qaeda had allegedly asked ETA to collaborate with it, according to reports Tuesday.
The Spanish daily El Mundo claimed that the former government saw a report which showed an Islamic activist asked an ETA terrorist in prison to work with al-Qaeda.
The newspaper says its report is based on conversations between José Luis Urrusolo Sistiaga, a convicted ETA prisoner, and an Islamic activist named only as Ismael.
It also claims that letters were sent by Ismael to Urrusolo on 12 September 2001 – the day after the al-Qaeda atrocity in the United States.
At the time, Ismael was being held in a French prison called Fresnes while Urrosolo was in the maximum security Soto del Real prison in Madrid.
The newspaper quotes the letter which reads: "Have you seen what has happened in New York? In one word – magnificent! It was magnificent present if you ask me. I saw the crowning glory of my theoretical ideas.
"I will be in prison for another year and a half. During this period, you can help us. After two months and six days preparing Operation Samurai Sabre.
"We hope that a hypothetical collaboration between Islamic and ETA groups would not include a suicide attack."
A second document, which the government also had access to, showed a taped conversation between another ETA terrorist, Juana Chaos, and a friend.
He talks of potentially working with "fundamentalists".
Aznar's government insisted in the wake of the Madrid bombings that ETA were responsible – despite growing evidence Islamic terrorists organised the attacks.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news