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Spies’ report reveals uncertainty over bombings

Published on 18/03/2004

18 March 2004

MADRID – Spain’s intelligence agency told the government hours after the 11 March attacks in Madrid that it believed ETA were behind the terrorist atrocity, the outgoing Interior Minister said Thursday.
Angel Acebes told a press conference in Madrid that the outgoing administration had taken the decision to declassify this report from the Nacional Intellgience Centre (CNI).

The move will be seen as an attempt by the former conservative government to justify its stance over the bombings.

Acebes revealed that though the report, filed at 3.51pm on 11 March, said the CNI was “almost sure” ETA were behind the massacre, they also said it could be Islamic terrorists.

In the final conclusion of its report, the CNI said: “With the information available at the moment, we cannot confirm that some organisation linked to the international Yihad (Holy War) could have been responsible for the execution of these attacks.”

“There are some similarities in the procedures used and the generic target attacked – a medium of public transport – with those used by Islamic radicals and the coincidences are logical in an attack of this magnitude.”

The former Popular Party administration of Jose Maria Aznar was widely believed to have lost the general election Sunday for ‘misleading’ the population who was behind the atrocity.

Hours after the explosions, Acebes insisted ETA were behind the bombings.

The government continued to maintain this stance even though it looked increasingly likely that Islamic groups linked to Al-Qaeda were the authors of the ten bomb explosions at three railway stations.

The controversy is thought to have angered many Spaniards, who thought the government was not telling them to truth.

It was thought to have inspired many to vote for the opposition Socialists, who won a shock victory.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

                                       Subject: Spanish news