Five suspects detained indefinitely in jail
19 March 2004
MADRID – Three Moroccans were linked Friday by a magistrate to the deaths of 190 victims in the Madrid massacre.
The three, who were detained indefinitely in custody, were said to have caused injuries to 1,400 people during the bomb attacks.
The three Moroccans, who were arrested Saturday, will stay in prison while the investigation continues.
They have not been formally charged.
They include three Moroccans, Jamal Zougam, his brother Mohamed Chaoui and another man, Mohamed Bakali.
Two Indians, Suresh Kumar and Vinay Kohly were also detained without charge indefinetly Friday.
They are suspected of collaborating with the gang behind the bombings and falsifying documents.
All five have denied their involvement in the attacks.
Zougam, who started to cry when he appeared in front of the magistrate, did accept that he knew the suspected leader of the al-Qaeda cell in Spain, Imat Eddin Barakat, alias “Abu Dahdah”.
Meanwhile, legal sources said one of the five suspects detained Thursday in connection with the terrorist attacks was a Spaniard.
He was said to have supplied the explosives from a mine where he worked in February.
So far the attacks have claimed 202 lives and left more than 1,400 people suffering from injuries.
Police said three of the suspects arrested Thursday were Moroccan or north African.
Three were detained in the commuter town Alcala de Henares, which is about 15 miles from Madrid. The others were being moved to Madrid from an undisclosed destination.
Another was arrested in the northern town of Oviedo and the fifth at an undisclosed place.
The move came as the number of victims rose Friday to 202, with the death of a 22-year-old woman.
Spain’s outgoing Interior Minister Angel Acebes said the inquiry had reached a “decisive phase”.
He also announced new security measures to protect airports, transport, sports venues and other key installations.
Acebes would not reveal more about the investigation.
“Any information I could give you would be prejudicial,” he said.
But he added “international connections” were one of the areas the police were working on.
According to Spain’s El Pais newspaper, police believe last Thursday’s attacks on packed commuter trains were carried out by people linked to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, which is “financed by al-Qaeda”.
Police are reported to be hunting for 20 Moroccans in connection with the attacks.
The Catalan newspaper El Periodico reported that police in Barcelona had launched a huge search in the city’s North African community.
Meanwhile an Algerian man, who allegedly threatened mass bloodshed in Madrid, has appeared before a judge.
“We will fill Madrid with the dead,” Ali Amrous reportedly shouted at officers in January during a police check.
He was re-arrested on Tuesday.
After a closed hearing on Wednesday, anti-terror magistrate Baltasar Garzon extended his detention for another 48 hours to give police more time to investigate him.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news