Pakistani Al-Qaeda 'fundraisers' charged
13 April 2005, MADRID - Spanish authorities have charged 11 Pakistani nationals over suspected links with Al-Qaeda sympathisers who carried out the Madrid train bombings a year ago.
13 April 2005
MADRID - Spanish authorities have charged 11 Pakistani nationals over suspected links with Al-Qaeda sympathisers who carried out the Madrid train bombings a year ago.
One of those charged, Shahzad Ali Gujar, is suspected of having transferred funds to members of Al-Qaeda, including Amjad Farooki, who Pakistani security forces killed last September and who was implicated in the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
'Wall Street Journal' reporter Pearl was executed by Islamic extremists in the Pakistani city of Karachi in early 2002. Farooki is widely believed to have been an Al-Qaeda recruiter.
In all, investigators believe Al-Qaeda members in Pakistan received some EUR 800,000 in funds from Spain.
Mohamed Afzaal, believed to have headed the Pakistani cell in question, is suspected of sending money last September to Rabei Ousman Sayed Ahmed, alias 'Mohammed the Egyptian', who is currently in custody on suspicion of involvement in the train bombings which killed 191 people.
Two other suspects, Shahzad Ali Gujar and Adnan Aslam, are thought to have met 'Mohammed the Egyptian' in Brescia, Italy, in May 2003.
Shahzad Ali Gujar is suspected of meeting Othman el Gnaout, another 11 March suspect, three days before Spain's worst ever terrorist attack, while he is additionally suspected of meeting Saed el Harrak, also in Spanish detention, the day after the blasts.
The judge overseeing the case says that "a group was constituted in Barcelona with a view to supporting global jihad from Spanish territory [via] the financing of concrete terrorist acts and people recruited to carry them out".
The judge considers there is hard evidence to suggest that Mohamed Afzaal travelled to Dubai in early 2004, where Al-Qaeda operatives instructed him to create terrorist cells in Spain, Norway and Denmark to finance the terrorist network's activities.
The Pakistanis are further charged with preparing an attack in Barcelona, having been found to be in possession of films and detailed maps of several major buildings in the eastern Spanish metropolis.
One of the maps depicted a shopping mall in the city's port area.
Spanish authorities named the 11-strong group as: Mohamed Afzaal, Shahzad Ali Gujar, Nasser Ahmad Khan, Masoud Akhtar, Shafqat Ali, Mahmoud Anwar, Adnan Aslam, Farhat Iqbat, Irfan Khan, Zaman Qamar Uz and Mohamed Choudhry Aslam.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news