Arrested man was not Madrid suspect

20th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch authorities conceded on Friday that a man arrested in police raids this week was not one of the suspects wanted in connection with the Madrid train bombings.

20 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch authorities conceded on Friday that a man arrested in police raids this week was not one of the suspects wanted in connection with the Madrid train bombings.

There was speculation on Thursday he was a 24-year-old Moroccan sought by Spanish police for the train bombings that killed 191 people on 11 March this year. A team of Spanish detectives flew into the Netherlands to help identify the detainee.

The Dutch authorities emphasised Thursday that it was not certain if they had got the right person. By Friday it was clear they had not.

"The man who was arrested Wednesday in Roosendaal turned out not to be an internationally wanted suspect in the Madrid attacks. This was established after a fingerprint identity check by the Spanish authorities," the Dutch public prosecutor said in a statement Friday.

The man, 23, was among a group of nine people arrested in two raids in Roosendaal, near the Belgian border.

He was an uncle of one of the Madrid suspects and had the same first and family names, Mohamed Belhadj, as the 24-year-old Moroccan sought by Spanish police, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Although the man arrested in Roosendaal was released from the terrorist charges, he was immediately re-arrested by the Dutch police on drug charges.

News agency Novum said the 22-year-old man was allegedly in possession of 600 ecstasy tablets and half a kilo of cocaine when the police arrested them.

Five of the other men have been released and two are being held by the immigration authorities.

The Dutch police launched the raids in Roosendaal following a tip from the Spanish that one or more of the Madrid suspects was hiding in the Netherlands.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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