Suspected Islamic militants 'are members of al-Qaeda'

18th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 May 2005, MADRID — Thirteen suspected Islamic radicals believed to have been planning attacks in Madrid have been charged with membership of Al-Qaeda, a judicial source said.

18 May 2005

MADRID — Thirteen suspected Islamic radicals believed to have been planning attacks in Madrid have been charged with membership of Al-Qaeda, a judicial source said.

Spanish authorities have smashed what was described as a Salafist-influenced cell of militants supporting "Jihad" ('holy' war) in October last year on the orders of judge Baltasar Garzon.

High court judge Fernando Grande Marlaska ruled the 13 should face charges after they were picked up during that operation along with 22 others.

The "Martyrs for Morocco" group stands accused of comprising a terrorist cell in the Moroccan city of Kenitra and another in Madrid. 

According to investigators, they had decreed that "as a consequence of Spain entering the war in Iraq it had converted itself into an enemy of Islam and for that there had to be an attack on this country". 

Garzon believes the group were planning attacks on the High Court and Madrid's emblematic Picasso Towers, with Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium another target along with two railway stations.

One of the stations was the central station of Atocha, one of three targeted in the 11 March Madrid train bombings last year ascribed to Islamic extremists and which killed nearly 200 people.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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