Police had inspectedterror explosives mine
1 September 2004
MADRID – Acting on a tip from an informant, Spanish police last year conducted an inspection of the mine that turned out to be the source of explosives used in the terrorist attacks in Madrid, but found nothing out of the ordinary, it was reported Wednesday.
The findings were contained in a government report sent to the parliamentary commission probing the bombings, which left 191 people dead and more than 1,500 wounded.
The report, drafted on 20 August by the local commanders of the Civil Guard – Spain’s militarised national police – in the northern region of Asturias, said the 2003 investigation was prompted by a tip from police informant Rafa Zohuier about a tip-off about the removal of 150 kilograms (330 pounds) of explosives from the mine.
Asturias units of the Civil Guard inspected the mine’s records, in particular those dealing with the entry and outflow of materials.
“Such inspections are conducted monthly and no anomalies were found in any of them,” the report states.
In July 2003, authorities conducted a surprise inspection of the facility and its security measures, which were found to be in order.
In addition, the home of a former mine worker, Emilio Suarez Trashorras – now under arrest on suspicion of supplying the explosives used on 11 March – and his brother-in-law, Antonio Toro Castro, were placed under surveillance.
The two men were also followed but never observed engaging in illegal activities.
Authorities speculated that Trashorras may have been hiding explosives at several properties belonging to his relatives, but requests for search warrants and wiretaps were rejected by prosecutors in Asturias.
“The prosecutors state that, based on the evidence obtained at that point, there were no grounds for warrants authorizing searches or wiretaps,” the report said, citing a dearth of evidence and questionable information from anonymous sources.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news