Madrid bombing suspect is extradited from Serbia
26 September 2005, MADRID — Moroccan Abdelmajid Bouchar, one of the suspected authors of the Madrid train bombings, arrived in Spain after being extradited from Serbia, where he was arrested in July.
26 September 2005
MADRID — Moroccan Abdelmajid Bouchar, one of the suspected authors of the Madrid train bombings, arrived in Spain after being extradited from Serbia, where he was arrested in July.
A judge immediately ruled that he would be held without bail and incommunicado at Madrid's Soto del Real prison until his first appearance in court, scheduled for Wednesday.
The Spanish Interior Ministry announced in a statement that Bouchar was arrested on board a train in Belgrade on 23 July. He was carrying a false Iraqi passport.
In August, the Spanish government requested the 22-year-old's extradition so that he can stand trial for the bombings of four commuter trains, in which 191 people were killed and 1,500 wounded.
Responsibility for Spain's worst terrorist incident - was claimed by Muslim militants who said they had acted on behalf of Al Qaeda to take revenge for the presence at that time of Spanish troops in Iraq.
Spanish authorities say that Bouchar is the man who on 3 April, 2004, detected the presence of security forces surrounding the apartment in the Madrid suburb of Leganes where he and several of the other alleged attackers were hiding.
After shouting a warning to his companions, he ran away and managed to escape the closing cordon.
After a stand-off between the seven militants in the apartment and police, the alleged terrorists killed themselves with a bomb. One policeman also died in the explosion.
The interior ministry says that Bouchar may have played a "decisive" role in the commuter train massacre because of his contacts and "close ties" with the other implicated persons.
Authorities also believe that he was holed up with and helped get supplies for the men hiding in the apartment.
Police found personal documentation belonging to Bouchar in the wrecked apartment, and they also detected several of his fingerprints in another house where the backpack bombs used to destroy the trains had been assembled.
Bouchar - whom Spanish police call "the deer" because he was a speedy track runner in Madrid - is thought to belong to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, which was founded in 1983 and some of whose members have been living illegally in Spain since Madrid revoked their residence and work permits in August 2002.
Spanish authorities say that Bouchar entered Serbia across the border with Bulgaria on 2 2 July and lived for short periods in various towns while trying to get to Hungary or Bosnia Herzegovina, the latter of which has a majority Muslim population.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news