Madrid suspects ‘planned’ attack in Belgium
12 April 2006
BRUSSELS – Two suspected terrorists charged over the Madrid train bombings were in Belgium around the time of the attack.
They are among six suspects charged by a Spanish judge with 191 murders and 1,755 attempted murders. The six suspects have been identified as five Moroccan men and a Spaniard.
Two of the suspects were in Belgium immediately before and after the bombings. One of them was in Brussels and the other in Masseik in Limburg.
A third man accused of the murders is also known to the Belgian judiciary.
All three are among the 29 suspects ordered to stand trial for involvement in the 11 March 2004 Madrid bombings.
The three men were also involved in the recent Brussels Court trial of terrorists linked to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM).
GICM is accused of the train bombings in Madrid and the Casablanca bombings in Morocco in May 2003.
The two men who were in Belgium have been identified as Moroccans Youssef Belhadj and Hassan El Haski.
Belhadj was arrested on request from Spain in the spring of 2004 in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek. He was staying with his brother Mimoun, an alleged GICM member also.
Belhadj is believed to be the military spokesman of GICM and is suspected of claim responsibility for the Madrid attacks in a video recording.
El Haski was arrested in December 2004 on the island of Lanzarote and is considered to be the ideologist of the GICM network. He stayed in Maaseik with his brothers Lahoussine and Mehdi.
Lahoussine was sentenced to a seven-year jail term at the recent Brussels GICM trial.
The third man known to the Belgian judiciary was Rabei Osman.
He is believed to have confessed his role in the Madrid bombings to his Brussels friend Mourad Chabarou, one of the 13 suspects placed on trial in the Belgian capital.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news