Police never thought ETA was behind Madrid massacre
1 July 2004, MADRID — Police believed immediately that Islamic terrorists had carried out the Madrid bombings not Basque separatists ETA, according to documents published Thursday.
1 July 2004
MADRID — Police believed immediately that Islamic terrorists had carried out the Madrid bombings not Basque separatists ETA, according to documents published Thursday.
The Spanish daily El Pais revealed a report by the Central Intelligence Unit of the National Police which showed the first lines of inquiry presumed terrorists linked to al-Qaeda were responsible for the attacks.
But in spite of this, the then Interior Minister Angel Acebes continued to insist in the two days after the 11 March attacks that ETA was responsible.
Acebes' theory was undermined, according to the report, by the discovery of the lorry with traces of explosives, a video tape with verses of the Koran and unexploded bomb which were found shortly after the attacks.
Witnesses also said that a man who was seen near the trains which were bombed was possibly Arabic.
Later, photo-fits pieced together from witness statements, matched Jamal Zougam, who was arrested and is in custody, or Said Berraj, who is on the run.
The 150-page police report, dealing with events after the attacks, does not mention ETA once, according to the newspaper.
The former government's insistence that ETA was behind the attacks, in an effort to deflect attention from its support for the Iraq war, was widely seen as the reason they lost the general election on 14 March.
The government is to decide Friday if it will declassify 29 secret documents which the inquiry has asked to see.
The Ministry of Defence oppose the release of one key document – the report of the secret service CNI dated 27 October 2003, which is said to have urged the government to take seriously the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden against Spain.
They say it contains details supplied by foreign intelligence services which would be compromised if they were made public.
El Pais, which cited sources from the CNI, said Thursday that there are foreign security services which are annoyed by the possibility that the report could be released.
It could stop them supplying more information to the CNI in future.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news