Spain mistook Musharraf party members for terrorists
The Spanish secret service CNI mistook relatives of a top Pakistani politician for terrorists, prompting British police to detain them in London, Spanish press reports said Wednesday.6 February 2008
MADRID - The Spanish secret service CNI mistook relatives of a top Pakistani politician for terrorists, prompting British police to detain them in London, Spanish press reports said Wednesday.
The CNI informed Scotland Yard that six members of a dangerous radical cell were flying from Barcelona to London on 22 January to commit attacks, the daily El Mundo quoted police sources as saying.
The warning followed the detention of 12 Pakistanis and two Indians in Barcelona on suspicion of planning attacks against the local transport network.
British police detained on arrival six Pakistanis who were handcuffed, taken to a high-security police station and questioned, according to El Mundo.
However, the detainees turned out to be relatives of Chaudry Sujaat Hussein, president of the Pakistan Muslim League which supports President Pervez Musharraf, as well as members of the party.
They were flying to London to meet Musharraf, who was there at the time, Spanish police sources were quoted as saying.
When British police discovered their mistake, they put the detainees on a plane to Pakistan, and the British government apologised to the Pakistani authorities.
The six have lodged a complaint at the British embassy in Pakistan and may take legal action against the CNI and Scotland Yard, according to Spanish reports.
Allegations that the 14 people detained in Barcelona were preparing a major attack have not been confirmed.
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Spanish news