Expatica news

Witness identifies Madrid terror suspect

14 December 2004

MADRID – The Madrid bombing suspect known as “Mohammed the Egyptian” was identified in an identification parade as one of the people who frequented the farm house where the bombs used in Spain’s worst terrorist attacks were made.

The line-up procedure – the results of which were called “very important” by court sources – took place before Rabei Osman El Sayed, the alleged mastermind behind the attacks, began testifying before Judge Juan del Olmo.

El Sayed “may have occupied a pre-eminent position within a top nucleus of the suspects” in the 11 March train bombings in the Spanish capital that killed 191 people, Del Olmo said in a court document released last week.

The magistrate said investigations had uncovered “a level of interpersonal relationship” among El Sayed (Mohammed the Egyptian) and Serhane Ben Abdelmajid, Fouad El Morabit, Basel Ghalyoun and Khaled Zeimi Pardo.

Abdelmajid, also known as “The Tunisian,” was one of the suspected terrorists who killed themselves in the Madrid suburb of Leganes as police were closing in on them on 3 April. Zeimi Pardo is at large, but the other two suspects are in custody.

“During the time he was in Spain, Rabei Osman, a suspected member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a part of the Al Qaeda network, took over the leadership of a group of followers of extremist Islamic ideology, supporters of the Jihad and of Osama bin Laden,” the judge added.

El Sayed was flown to Spain last week from Milan, where he was arrested last June.

The Interior Ministry said El Sayed would be tried in Spain, but then returned to Italy, where a trial on other terrorism charges is pending.

Spain’s request for El Sayed was based on Italian police phone taps in which he is allegedly heard to say that he planned and organised the Madrid attacks, which also wounded some 1,500 people.

According to one of the transcribed conversations included in the brief, El Sayed said: “The attack in Madrid was my project and those who died martyrs are my dearest friends”.

Found also on a computer seized from El Sayed were pictures of mobile-phone-activated bombs similar to those used on 11 March.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news