Police chief thought 'bomb tape' did not matter

22nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2004, MADRID-A senior Guardia Civil officer who was demoted for failing to report a cassette recording about trading explosives to terrorists to officers investigating the Madrid massacre told the parliamentary commission the bombings he "did not think it was important".

22 November 2004

MADRID-A senior Guardia Civil officer who was demoted for failing to report a cassette recording about trading explosives to terrorists to officers investigating the Madrid massacre told the parliamentary commission the bombings he "did not think it was important".

Lieutenant-colonel Jose Antonio Rodriguez Bolinaga, commander in chief of
the northern city of Gijon, was demoted last week for "breaking the link of confidence" between the judiciary and the police.

Bolinaga was found to have dithered over handing the tape to examining judge Juan del Olmo, investigating the bombings which killed 191 people in
Spain's worst terrorist attack.

The tape contained a conversation from 2001 between a police informant and
a civil guard.

According to the Spanish daily El Mundo, the informant accused the Spaniards implicated in the sale of dynamite to the Islamic radicals affiliated to Al-Qaeda who carried out the bombings, of having trafficked explosives from the summer of 2001.

The informant claimed that the pair, Emilio Suarez Trashorras and Antonio Toro, former miners-turned drug dealers, asked him how to make bombs which could be set off by mobile phone, which was how the bombs used on 11 March.

According to El Mundo, a civil guard recently stumbled across the tape and handed it to his superiors on 16 October.

Bolinaga told the commission he did not think the tape was anything more than an "aid memoir", which did not need to be handed into the authorities.

He thought the officers investigating the Madrid bombings, in which 191 people were killed, knew all the information which was contained on the cassette.

In 2001, Del Olmo's colleague Baltazar Garzon dismantled an Al-Qaeda cell in Spain but there was no indication that the group or an affiliate was planning an attack within Spain.
  
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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