Madrid bombing accused ‘under watch since 2002’
5 March 2007, MADRID – The head of a police intelligence unit told the Madrid bombing trial on Monday some of the leading suspects had been under surveillance since 2002.
5 March 2007
MADRID – The head of a police intelligence unit told the Madrid bombing trial on Monday some of the leading suspects had been under surveillance since 2002.
The inspector, from the Central Unit of External Information (UCIE), told the court Mustafa Maimouni had been under police suspicion since 2002.
Others, like Serhane ben Abdelmajid Faket, known as The Tunisian, and the brothers, Alamallah Dabas, were also being watched in the months before the attacks in March 2004, he said.
The officer, who was not named, said two other accused, Basel Ghalyoun and Fouad el Morabit, were also under surveillance in 2002.
But he said later the group appeared to “disintegrate” and it did not make sense to continue watching them.
In March 2003 – a year before the attacks - El Mayouni left Spain for Morocco, said the officer.
While he was in Morocco, he was alleged to have organised the Casablanca bombing in May 2003, in which 33 died.
The officer said by December 2003, the Madrid train bombings were being organised.
Driss Chebli and Serhane, The Tunisian, became the leaders of the group.
They also started to investigate their links to Rabei Osman, known as Mohammed The Egyptian, who is said to be the brains behind the bombings.
By December 2003, Jamal Ahmidan, known as The Chinese, had got in contact with the ex miner Emilio Suarez Trashorras.
The court has heard Ahmidan and Trashorras had already agreed to do a deal, exchanging cash and drugs for explosives.
But the inspector told the court on Monday the police ignored the presence of Jamal Ahmidan until after the train bombings, in which 191 people were killed.
Only after Trashorras was arrested was Ahmidan sought by police.
Later the police believed Ahmidan came to Spain in summer 2003 to plan the attacks after serving time in jail in Morocco.
He was said to have made contact with other suspects who were already being investigating by police.
The inspector said no other terrorist organisations were linked to the attacks which he claimed were carried out by Islamic radicals.
Twenty-nine people are accused of playing various roles in the train bombings in Madrid on 11 March 2004.
The trial continues.
[EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news