29 March 2004, MADRID - Traffic police stopped and fined several Madrid bombers travelling in a car packed with explosives days before the attacks, a newspaper claimed Monday.
29 March 2004
MADRID - Traffic police stopped and fined several Madrid bombers travelling in a car packed with explosives days before the attacks, a newspaper claimed Monday.
The El Pais newspaper claimed a number of suspects behind the attacks were thought to have been in the car when they were fined for an unspecified driving offence.
Twenty people have been arrested in connection with the 11 March terrorist attacks.
At least 190 people were killed when 10 bombs exploded on four trains at three stations in the rush hour.
The newspaper said that three or four of the bombers were believed to have been in the car when they were stopped by traffic police.
It was the end of February and sources close to the investigation said the men were returning to the capital Madrid from the north of Spain.
They had reportedly purchased 110kg of stolen explosives from an ex-miner.
The car boot was thought to have been packed with explosives when police officers stopped the vehicle in the northern province of Leon.
Reports say the police checked the vehicle number plate. They found nothing untoward and so allowed the men to continue their journey, after fining them for a minor traffic offence.
The Volkswagen they were driving was in fact stolen, but the theft had not yet been reported.
The ex-miner suspected of selling the explosives is among 20 people arrested in Spain so far in connection with the Madrid bomb attacks.
Two of the men have been released without charge and 12 detained for further questioning.
Six men arrested on Friday are to appear before an investigating High Court magistrate later Monday.
Meanwhile, security forces raided a house Saturday where the bombs used in the 11 March attacks in Madrid may have been made.
Police found traces of explosives and detonators in a house near the village of Morata de Tajuna, 30km south-east of Madrid.
There has been no official comment, but the house is believed to be the home of one of those arrested in connection with the attacks.
It had been under police surveillance.
Police say they found traces of Goma-two explosives - the type used in Madrid.
Moroccan authorities have been questioning several people they have detained in connection with the bombings.
A spokesman for the Moroccan government, Nabil Benabdallah, said the arrests were made in the north of the country, but declined to reveal the precise number of detainees and what they were suspected of.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news