Suspects’ photos released as hunt goes international
1 April 2004
MADRID – The judge leading the hunt for the Madrid bombers named six suspects Thursday thought to be behind the terrorist outrage.
The photos of the suspects were released and the public was asked to help police find the bombers.
The judge investigating the bombings has issued international arrest warrants for the six suspects.
They were named as Jamal Ahmidan, nicknamed ‘The Chinese’; Sarhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet.
These two are considered by police to be the masterminds behind the attacks.
The others are Rachid Oulad and his brother Mohamed Oulad Akcha, Agdennabi Kounjaa, ‘Abdallah’ and Said Berraj.
Meanwhile, two more suspects were arrested in connection with the 11 March terrorist attacks.
The latest suspect was named as Otman El Gnaout. The arrest was carried out Tuesday.
No more details were given about his detention.
In addition, Moroccan Fouad Almorabit was re-arrested after being released following testimony.
This brings the number of suspects arrested in connection with the investigation to 25.
It was also revealed that police seized a large quantity of documents, videos and other casettes when they raided a flat in Madrid Wednesday.
Officers carried out the raid on a flat in the Moratalaz area of the capital.
According to sources close to the information, the search was ordered by the judge in charge of the case, Juan del Olmo.
Olmo spent most of Wednesday watching other video tapes which have been seized in other searches connected with the investigation.
Earlier, Spain’s interior minister named an Islamist extremist group as a focus of the investigation.
Angel Acebes said the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group were the “investigators’ priority”.
But Acebes added that other terrorist organisations had not been ruled out.
Nineteen suspects are being held over the attacks, in which 191 people lost their lives and more than 1,400 were injured.
The terrorists behind the Madrid bombing have been linked with multiple bombings in the Moroccan city of Casablanca last May, which killed 45 people.
Moroccan investigators are said to be focusing on the group blamed for the Casablanca bombings, Salafia Jihadia, in connection with the Madrid attacks.
The group is an offshoot of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group.
The US State Department has said the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group emerged in the late 1990s.
The group is said to want to establish an Islamic state in Morocco and supports al-Qaeda’s “holy war” against the West.
The group is thought to have links to Afghanistan, western Europe and possibly Morocco.
Reports suggest the Moroccan government has also been investigating the group.
Ten of the suspects in Spanish detention are thought to be Moroccan.
Fourteen of the suspects detained now face provisional charges over the attacks which, under Spanish anti-terrorism laws, allow them to be held for up to two years while investigators gather evidence.
Provisional charges were laid against two detainees early Tuesday at judge Olmo.
Basel Ghayoun, a Syrian, was accused of mass murder and belonging to a terrorist organisation. Hamid Ahmidam, a Moroccan, was charged with collaborating with a terrorist organisation.
Both men have claimed they are innocent.
Judge Olmo will hear testimony from four suspects Thursday.
One of these will be Moroccan Fouad El Morabit, who has been linked Ghayoun, who was said to have been recognised by passengers on the bombed trains.
Morabit was arrested last week in Ugena, in Toledo, south of Madrid.
A graduate of the University of Madrid, he is said to be “cultured and educated”. He worked in Germany at one stage.
Antonio Toro Castro, the brother-in-law of the ex-miner, José Emilio Suárez Trashorras, has been detained and will also appear before the court Friday.
Castro is said to have given information to Moroccan terrorists about how to steal explosives from mines while in jail on drugs charges.
Suárez is said to have helped supply the terrorists with more than half a tonne of Goma 2 explosives from a mine where he had worked in Asturias in northern Spain.
He has already been charged with causing mass murder.
Three more people were arrested Monday, bringing the total number of suspects in police custody to 18, out of a total of 24 detained during the investigation.
The court released three men without charge on Tuesday morning.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news