More evidence of ‘Belgian connection’ to Madrid bombs
5 April 2004
BRUSSELS – One of the suspected terrorists who blew himself up in a Madrid flat on Saturday was probably a man police suspected of carrying a fake Belgian passport, the Spanish press reported on Monday.
According to a number of Spanish newspapers, the country’s interior ministry believes that one of the five men who died in Saturday’s blast was Moroccan Jamal Ahmidan, also known as ‘The Chinaman’.
Last week Spanish police issued an arrest warrant for Ahmidan, adding that they believed he was carrying a fake Belgian passport.
Police believe the five men who died in Saturday’s apartment blast were all involved in planning the 11 March train attacks, which left 191 people dead and 1,400 injured.
Ahmidan is believed to have used his fake Belgian ID to hire the house near Madrid where the terrorists made the bombs later planted on the rush-hour trains on 11 March.
The Spanish police also believe Ahmidan and his accomplices were either members of or closely linked to an Islamic extremist organisation called the Moroccan Islamic Combatants’ Group (MICG).
Aside from the Madrid attacks, the MICG is also suspected of organising a series of fatal bombings in Casablanca in May 2003. Those attacks left around 45 people dead, including 12 suicide bombers.
On Monday the French security services announced they had arrested 15 people suspected of links with the MICG in a co-ordinated series of dawn raid in the Paris suburbs.
Last month in Belgium police arrested a number of suspected MICG supporters in raids on houses in Brussels, Antwerp and Tongeren. At the time the Belgian authorities insisted they did not think the men were linked to the Madrid attacks.
The Spanish press also reported last month that a videotape on which Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network – an organisation thought to have close links with the MICG – claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings was “very probably” recorded in Brussels or Amsterdam.
But Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt swiftly denied the allegations.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news