Former Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar, spoke at breakfast Friday morning at AEI and predicted three spectacular terrorist events in the near future. First, a major destructive action in the United States before election day on November 2, possibly during the last 72 hours, for massive effect in causing confusion and commotion. Second, a dramatic escalation of action in Iraq leading up to November 2, and again in late December and early January to head off the Iraqi election at the end of January. Third, a spectacular attack in the United Kingdom next May to disrupt the re-election campaign of PM Tony Blair.
Aznar's main subject was the serious gap between European elites (and even European popular opinion) and the United States. This gap originated before Bush and it will continue for many years to come. But Americans need seriously to reach out to Europeans, assisting and encouraging our friends (not only fair-weather friends, but friends in difficult times), and making clear to others that gratuitous obstructionism toward the United States is not cost-free.source dubious?
Aznar's successor as PP leader, Mariano Rajoy, is pitted against main opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
President Putin expresses condolences to leaders of Spain as he prepares to go to the Russian polls on the same day...
"Next weekend, the PP is set to romp home to yet another victory in the Spanish elections. Given that Aznar is standing down and his party staunchly backed the Iraq war when 90 per cent of Spain opposed it, this would be a remarkable accomplishment. "
Will Blair dare to do it the Spanish way?
"MADRID (Reuters) - No warning was given before any of the explosions on packed rush-hour trains which killed scores of people in Madrid Thursday, Spanish Interior Minister Angel Acebes said.
"A few minutes ago there was a fourth explosion ... There have been four explosions in four different places," said Acebes, who declined to give a precise death toll. "We are still finding victims inside some of the carriages ... There was no warning."
Authorities have blamed the blasts on armed Basque separatists ETA, who are listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
Spain holds a general election Sunday."
No Warning Given Before Spain Rail Blasts, Minister Says
[see the Russian explosions 1999]
The Never-Ending War on Terror
A wolf leading the sheep?
Only Hours after the attacks President Aznar announces
tighter security measures & Orwellian countrywide show of patriotism as
'demonstrations' for democracy
"Chanting "Cowards" and "Killers," millions of protestors packed rainswept streets across Spain Friday condemning the country's worst ever guerrilla attack which killed at least 199 people.
Spanish royals and Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar headed the march in Madrid alongside Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi and EU President Romano Prodi demonstrating unity a day after what was also Europe's bloodiest bomb attack in 15 years."
11 million Spaniards had demonstrated on the streets of the nation on 12th March 2004 in a dignified show of solidarity with the victims, but by the eve of the elections there were demonstrations outside the ruling Partido Popular headquarters accusing the government of manipulating the news media and blaming Prime Minister Aznar for having put the country at increased risk by supporting the unlawful invasion and occupation of Iraq.
meanwhile in the REAL WORLD : Police get Heavy
"I was pushed to the ground, handcuffed, and shoved into a car. The guys were in plain clothes but wore balaclavas. They threatened to beat me up if I opened my mouth; I asked why I'd been arrested and they said I'd find out in the coming five days.
"I was thrown out of the car at the police station and they pushed me into a room where I was thrown at the wall. They told me to keep my eyes on the ground and started to lower the shutters; I was getting pretty scared.
"Suddenly the police chief burst in and started beating me, telling me that my days were numbered. He says I'd better start talking or they'll really mess me up; he pushes me to the window and threatened to throw me out. I keep quiet but they start beating me again. One of them twists my arms behind my back and it really hurts. They show me a paper that says they've got legal rights to keep me isolated for five days."
FIVE DAYS UNDER THE SPANISH ANTI-TERRORIST LAW
"Aznar himself is a son of a prominent Francoist family
and during the fascist dictatorship was a member of the fascist party. When democracy was reestablished in Spain, Aznar advocated against approving the new Democratic Constitution. In the right-wing press, he once criticized the Basque town of Guernica (destroyed by Nazi aviation, as immortalized in the Picasso painting that carries its name) for renaming its main square: newly democratic municipality changed the name from Caudillo Franco's Square (the name every Spanish town had to give to its main square during the fascist regime) to Liberty Square. Aznar accused the Guernica municipality of revenge. He wanted the main square to retain Franco's name and Franco's statue. Aznar has never condemned or even criticized the Franco regime, and his cabinet also contains several ex-members of the fascist party - who also have never denounced that regime. "
Stop the fascist gov. of Spain
...background on the Spanish, "sexist and fascist", Party Populare...
profile of Aznar - Popular Party. P.P. (Partido Popular)
How Spain voted.....and not voted.
Mr. Aznar and Partido Popular: heirs of Fascism
Did Aznars party need to blame ETA?
"Though no one has claimed responsibility for the 10 blasts that tore into trains and commuter railway stations during the morning rush hour, the police and government leaders blamed ETA, the separatist group demanding independence for the Basque region of northeastern Spain.
The deadly explosions thus blew every issue off the agenda other than the government's war on ETA, which the ruling Popular Party (PP) had made a key plank of its electoral platform."
"The Spanish government is sticking to its position that the Basque terrorist group ETA is behind the Madrid bombings that killed 200 people on Thursday, a stance that may help the ruling Popular Party in tomorrow's general elections."
Spain Maintains ETA Is Main Bomb Suspect a Day Before Elections
did the politicians use this tragedy
for their own ends? [stupid question?]
"Confusion has settled over the investigation into the attacks, which killed 200 people and wounded nearly 1,500. The government, which is fighting for a third term in general elections to be held Sunday, insisted from directly after the attacks that ETA was the likely culprit.
It has reportedly ordered its ambassadors worldwide to repeat the accusation at any opportunity, and, at its urging, the UN Security Council on Thursday voted a resolution condemning ETA by name.
The administration of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar -- who is stepping down after the elections -- is seen by voters as having taken a strong stand against the group."
Mystery surrounds Madrid bombing
''EFE knew, from the very morning of (last) Thursday's attacks in Madrid, about the existence of a cell-phone configured in Arabic and about the van found in Alcal�de Henares, and knew that one of the dead was a terrorist,'' the committee of EFE employees said in a press release.
But ''Reporting or broadcasting information pointing to involvement by extremist Islamic terrorists that was obtained from primary sources by our national news service writers was expressly prohibited,'' the committee said Monday. "
Spanish Reporters: Government Silenced the Truth About the Attacks
Anti-government protests spring up across Spain
Anti-government protesters took to the streets across Spain on Saturday night, on the eve of a general election, demanding to know "the truth" behind rail bombs that killed 200 people in Madrid two days ago.
Witnesses in Madrid and other major cities reported protesters gathering in squares, shouting slogans like "Don't Manipulate Our Dead!", and banging pots and pans to denounce the ruling Popular Party of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.infoshop
Thousands protest against Governmenttheage.com
|Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
Spanish people vote out Popular Party... Result?
"Spaniards threw out their center-right government on Sunday in a spectacular election upset triggered by last week's suspected al Qaeda attack on Madrid in retaliation for Spanish support of the Iraq war.
The ruling Popular Party (PP) conceded defeat to Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who will take over from outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, a staunch backer of Washington's invasion of Iraq that most Spaniards opposed.
Analysts said the PP, opinion poll favorite, had been battered by voters because of a new claim in the name of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda that the group had mounted its first attack in Europe and in reprisal for Spain's support for the Iraq war.
The Socialists have pledged to withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq if the United Nations does not take control by June 30 when Washington plans to hand power back to Iraqis. Opinion polls showed as many as 90 percent of Spaniards opposed the war.
"The government has paid the price for its involvement in the war in Iraq, for Aznar's relationship with (U.S. President George) W. Bush and (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair. The vote has been a reaction to this," said Carlos Berzosa, rector of Madrid's Complutense University.
Adrian Croft -Reuters
"Terrorism is not defeated with wars," [source]
"Zapatero, still rejoicing at his party headquarters, said he wanted to call a minute's silence for "the broken lives" as a result of Thursday's train massacre, and pledged that combating terrorism would be a top priority for the new government. "
Socialists win Spanish election
can we afford to hope?
As the warmongers and profiteers just spin this atrocity for their own ends...
"Mr Blair and Mr Bush must do some reflection you can't organise a war with lies," he said in his first radio interview after ousting the ruling conservative People's party in a Sunday election dominated by the terror attacks on trains that killed 200 Madrid commuters last week.
"The Spanish troops will come back," he added.
His stinging comments caused political shockwaves across Europe and in the US. Sunday would go down in history as "the day when Islamist fundamentalism was seen as dictating the outcome of a European election", said Wilfried Martens, the head of the European People's party, an umbrella group for European conservative parties.
Background on Spanish forces in Iraq:
Plus Ultra brigade promises Latino-style peacekeeping in Iraqi holy city
The domino effect?
So, according to 'the media' & politicians...
because AZNAR LOST....
Al queda won the elections...[!!!???]
What about the public who voted against Aznar
who blatently used ETA to try to get elected?
"It appears ''increasingly likely'' that Islamic extremists played a role in the Madrid attacks, though ''a number of avenues are being pursued,'' said a U.S. counterterrorism official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The official said U.S. authorities aren't ruling out al-Qaida involvement or the possibility that Muslim extremists were working with the Basque separatist group ETA, which the Spanish government initially said was the prime suspect. "
Possible ties to Casablanca bombings invesigated
is it even more sinister than that?
Did others need to blame Al queda?
A van in Madrid
Later today, however, a new lead surfaced, when a citizen's tip led police to a van - apparently abandoned near one of the commuter lines. A search of the van produced 8 detonators, and an Arabic-language tape, containing Koranic teachings.
This - and the similarity to recent Chechen attacks on commuter trains in Moscow - has led to speculation today's blasts might have been carried out by one of the militant Islamic groups - in reprisal for Spain's crackdown on al-Qaeda, and its participation in the global War on Terror.
Spain Bomb Probe Focusing on Al Qaeda-Report
was this an attempted coup on democracy?
What if it were niether Al Queda or ETA?
"Unfortunately, since minute zero on day one, western media outlets had made a deliberate omission so inexplicable and so gross that it proved their own direct involvement or complicity in the mass murder of more than 200 Spanish civilians. Despite the fact that every media outlet taking its lead from the omnipotent New York Times reported that between eight and ten explosive devices had been detonated on board Spanish trains during the rush hour, not one of them mentioned suicide bombers. This is an impossible omission, because we all know that every car, or bus or plane or train blown up anywhere by 'Muslim Terrorists', is invariably attacked by 'suicide bombers'. How do we know this? Because the New York Times always tells us so, that is how. No matter whether it is a truck in Baghdad, a bus in Tel Aviv, a car in Moscow or a train in Chechnya, the American media villain of the piece is always the ubiquitous Muslim suicide bomber. "
Myahudi Monsters Maul Madrid
[caution : great analysis sadly marred by mind controlled racism in the last sentence]
see: JFK, MLK, RFK and Senator Wellstone
A sinister means of tampering with elections?
Suicide bombing struck just two days before Russia's parliamentary election.
[er...a pattern is forming here...]
Train Bombing Overshadows Russian Election
Russian officials have vowed to find those responsible. "The earth will be burning under their feet," the Interfax news agency quoted Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov as saying. "These animals will not feel safe anywhere. We will find them and punish them as the law demands."
Speaking on Russian television after the attack, President Vladimir Putin denounced it as "an attempt to destabilize the situation in the country on the eve of parliamentary elections," which take place on Dec. 7.
Russian train bombs
The French connection: strange correspondence between
French government and 'terrorists' that no-one has ever heard of...
"On 3rd March, French authorities were forced to admit something was going on when 10,000 rail workers began a search for bombs on the country's rail network. The French govt said that it had been receiving threats since Dec 2003 from a mysterious organisation calling itself AZF demmanding that unless France paid up 5Bn euro, the organisation would explode pre-placed devices on the French rail network. "
MADRID BOMBING - "AZF" TOTAL/FINA LINK STILL IGNORED
Putin used fear of Chechnyan rebels to win the Russian election...
Aznar has tried to blame Eta for M11-
who will those waging the global 'War on Terror' want to blame when the Spanish elections are over?
Big suprise: Dark skinned people arrested
Al-Qaeda Behind Madrid Train Bombings, Says Spainish Minister
Spanish police examine al-Qaeda tapes
Bombs were Spanish-made explosives
As ChinaDaily and DER SPIEGEL reported:
"the copper detonators used in the backpack bombs were more sophisticated than the aluminum detonators previously used in bombs linked to ETA".
Another preliminary analysis determined the explosive is a type of dynamite called ECO, manufactured in Spain and normally used in construction and mining."
Ewing 2001 911 skeptics unite
al Masri- ex Egyptian policeman=what?
Al Queda : Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade
spurious claims: do they even exist?
Abu Hafs was an Egyptian national, who was nicknamed al-Masri meaning 'the Egyptian' in Arabic. He was a core member of the Islamic Jihad group, which successfully carried out the assassination of the Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat on October 6, 1981.
Abu Hafs joined Osama bin Laden in the early 1980s when the two were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. He participated in the establishment of al-Qaeda (the base) organization.
As a former Egyptian police officer, Abu Hafs al-Masri took charge of the organization's security. He assumed control of the training camps after the former commander Abu Ubaida al-Banshiri was drowned in
Victoria Lake, Uganda, in 1996.
One of al-Masri's daughters was married to one of bin Laden's sons. disaster-management
"WE WANT BUSH TO WIN" [?]
The statement said it supported President Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry , as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."
In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:
"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization. Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."
Purported Al Qaeda Letter Calls Truce in Spain
"A group purporting to be part of Al Qaeda that claimed responsibility for the Madrid train bombings and warned of a looming attack on the United States seems to be a phantom organization, according to US intelligence officials and terrorism specialists.
In a 24-hour news cycle dominated by fears of terrorism, the latest e-mail from the Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade to a London-based Arabic newspaper sowed anxiety and drew instant headlines all over the world.
But specialists say there is no evidence the organization exists. E-mail messages purporting to be written by the group previously claimed responsibility for everything from the North American blackout to a suicide attack that killed 20 Italian policemen in Iraq. But none of those claims has proved true, intelligence specialists say.
The latest message warned that an attack against the United States is "90 percent ready."
Employees at the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper in London, which has received several letters in recent months purporting to be from the group, say they are not sure what the group is. "
Group tying self to blast in madrid may not be real
"The FBI has received no specific, credible threats to electronic power grids in the United States in the recent past, and the claim of the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade to have caused the blackout appears to be no more than wishful thinking. We have no information confirming the actual existence of this group, which has also claimed on the Internet responsibility for the 5 August bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta and the 19 July crash of an airplane in Kenya."FBI
."...It is not the first time the paper has received letters from the group (Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade).
The group claimed responsibility for the attacks last year in the Turkish city of Istanbul on two synagogues,
the British consulate and a British Bank.
Intelligence sources have consistently told CNN that the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade does not speak for al Qaeda, and there is question as to whether it exists at all beyond one person with a computer and a fax machine.
For example, this group claimed responsibility for the U.S. power blackout last summer, a claim that turned out not to be true.
Just last week it claimed al Qaeda was not behind a car bombing in Iraq, which many intelligence officials believe was the work of an al Qaeda-related group.
CNN consultant Paul Eedle in the past has suggested the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade may be more interested in waging a propaganda war than in truthfully revealing who is behind particular acts of terror."
"Security analysts said Sunday the discovery by Spanish police of a videotape with a purported al Qaeda claim was still inconclusive, although it added to mounting evidence of an Islamist link to the attacks that killed 200 people.
The speaker on the tape was named as Abu Dujan al Afgani and described as al Qaeda's military spokesman in Europe, although Spain's interior minister said neither Spanish nor foreign intelligence officials had heard of him.
It came days after a similar statement from a group called Abu Hafs al-Masri, claiming links to al Qaeda, in an e-mail to a London-based Arab newspaper. Basque separatist group ETA, originally blamed by Spain, has denied involvement."
signs of the times [cassiopaea]
from 911 skeptics unite:
The new "al quaeda military spokesman", Abu Dujan Al-Afghani, who came forward this week, was probably named after "Pakistani infiltrator" Abu Dujan, who was shot on May, 7th 2002.
He was a member of separatist group Lashkar-e-Toiba, which is suspected to be on the payroll of Pak Secret Service ISI, with "sleeper cells" in the United Kingdom. Interestingly Dujan was also mentioned in the case of canadian-syrian citizen Maher Arar. Arar's story is documented on 911 Review:
The U.S. claimed, he is a member of an organization that has been designated by the Secretary of State as a Foreign Terrorist organization, to wit Al Qaeda aka Al Qa'ida. In October 2002, Arar was deported on a private jet on which he is the sole passenger, to Syria via Jordan, in flagrant violation of international and American law.
Meanwhile, Arar is back in Canada and working on a lawsuit against John Ashcroft.
Spanish Intelligence just revealed, that the very
same "scapegoats", used for the spanish attack, have
been already on the watch list since years.
Abu Dahdah, observed by at least 6 different european
intelligence agencies, had also contact with
M.Darkanzali ( in 1999, CIA officer Thomas Volz tried
to hire him as an informant!! )
Britain finds MI5, al Qaida double agent
Al-Qaeda double agent duped MI5
Blair 'broke promise' on terrorist suspects
"French intelligence personnel have accused Britain of failing to cooperate with European partners in the war against Islamic terrorist groups. The allegations, made by senior French officials, have angered MI5 officers.
France's security services claim that their British counterparts are refusing to share information, work with them or act against known British-based terrorist suspects.
[...] The anti-terrorist official also said that the French were certain that MI5 was sheltering Abu Qatada, a militant cleric, while officially denying knowledge of his whereabouts. Mr Qatada, named by Spanish intelligence as the "spiritual head" of al-Qa'eda in Europe, disappeared from his home in Acton, west London, at the beginning of this year shortly before new anti-terrorism laws came into force. French anti-terrorist officers in Paris believe that their British counterparts at MI5 colluded in his disappearance. "[...]
French accuse MI5 of harboring "terrorists"
from heresigns of the times [cassiopaea]
BRITISH INTEL AGENT MET TOP MADRID BOMBING SUSPECT 25 TIMES
Details are emerging that a British MI5 agent within al Queda met twenty five times with the top suspect in the Madrid train bombing.
Abu Quatada is today being openly acknowledged in political and media circles as a top agent of Britain's MI5. He met shoe bomber Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui. Videos of his speeches were found in the flat of Mohamed Atta. He reportedly met Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 1989.
A judge in an Immigrations Appeal has just ruled that Qatada was "concerned in the instigation of acts of international terrorism."
Spanish investigators have evidence that a train bombing suspect in custody --Abu Dahdah-- had met with Quatada more than 25 times, according to the Times of London.
Qatada was granted asylum in Britain in 1993, then disappeared late in 2001 --just before new terrorism laws came into force. French intelligence officials accused MI5 of helping the cleric to abscond. One intelligence chief in Paris was quoted as saying: "...we know where he is and, if we know, I'm quite sure they[MI5] do.
Almost a year later Abu Qatada was found hiding in a flat not far from Scotland Yard and is now held without charge in a top-security British jail.
Official sources are trying to put a spin on the story that Qatada's charmed life was because he somehow fooled MI5 and ran terror agents withiut their knowledge.
But there are allegations that Britain is at best sheltering terrorists; at worst using them for it's own geopolitical interests. Other countries complain that the British authorities have refused even to arrest some men whom they have identified as having terrorist links.
One diplomat in London, whose Government has been waiting six years for a suspect to be handed over for trial, has said: "The system in the UK has now gone beyond farce."
The latest revelations are a severe embarassment for Tony Blair's government. European leaders will be concerned that through Quatada, British intelligence had a hand on the tiller of the al Queda network at key points when the terror group was planning and executing mass murder attacks ranging from 9/11 to Madrid and others in between.
By Fintan Dunne - from Gulufuture
The extradition treaty has been signed - Why would the UK want to hide a double agent?
The UK-US Treaty has three main effects:
- (1) it removes the requirement on the US to provide prima facie evidence when requesting the extradition of people from the UK but maintains the requirement on the UK to satisfy the "probable cause" requirement in the US when seeking the extradition of US nationals;
- (2) it removes or restricts key protections currently open to suspects and defendants;
- (3) it implements the EU-US Treaty on extradition, signed in Washington on 25 June 2003, but far exceeds the provisions in this agreement.
Ben Hayes of Statewatch comments:
"Under the new treaty, the allegations of the US government will be enough to secure the extradition of people from the UK. However, if the UK wants to extradite someone from the US, evidence to the standard of a "reasonable" demonstration of guilt will still be required.
No other EU countries would accept this US demand, either politically or constitutionally. Yet the UK government not only acquiesced, but did so taking advantage of arcane legislative powers to see the treaty signed and implemented without any parliamentary debate or scrutiny.
Guantanamo Bay, the failed extradition of Lofti Raissi and US contempt for the International Criminal Court make this decision to remove relevant UK safeguards all the more alarming"
New UK-US Extradition Treaty
Bombers conveniently 'Blow themselves up'
Madrid 'ringleader' dies in blast
"...The suspected ringleader of the Madrid bombings blew himself up along with four other suspects during a police raid, Spain's interior minister said.
Angel Acebes said Serhane ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, alias "The Tunisian", died in an explosion in a Madrid suburb on Saturday night. ..."
"...Spain has already detained 15 suspects over the Madrid attacks, in which 191 people were killed...."
Spain's Bomb Probe Shifts to Overseas Links
13 held in Paris anti-terror raids
Was this a failed right-wing bomb-making party ?
Dynamite & Detonators found in ruins!
"Fears of more violence have prompted authorities to order police to patrol the city's subway and bus stations, while civil guards and army units continue to check the country's rail system.
Mr Acebes said police found 10kg of dynamite and 200 detonators in the apartment where the suspects blew themselves up.
He said that indicated they were plotting more violence, and the brand of dynamite and the detonators linked them to Friday's failed attack on a high-speed rail line south of Madrid. "
Fearful Spanish nab new suspect
...and now, a video tape is found!!!
"AN AL-QAEDA videotape threatening more terrorist attacks against Spain singles out the incoming Socialist government for its decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.
The Spanish interior ministry said that the video was found in the rubble of a Madrid suburb apartment where seven suspects in the bombings blew themselves up on 3 April.
The Arabic-language tape was badly damaged in the explosion, and two sentences that police originally called unintelligible were finally translated and released by the ministry. "
Al-Qaeda tape warns Spain will be targeted over troops
for a badly damaged tape, an awful lot is transcribed...
"News of the tape came after the arrest of three more suspects for the Madrid bombings, taking the number in custody to 24. Court officials identified two Moroccans arrested in the Costa del Sol city of Malaga as Abdelghafour Abderrazzak and Mohamed El Barrouchi. The interior ministry said a third North African had also been arrested in Malaga.
Eighteen people, 14 of them Moroccan, have been charged in connection with the bombings. Six have been charged with mass murder. "
[same story a s above]
So, 24 people are so far supposedly involved in the Madrid bombing?
isn't that quite a large terrorist splinter cell group?
or is it just the excuse they need for more round ups and arrests of Arabs and Moroccans?
Interestingly...days before Madrid attack Blair makes a speech
Blair vows to fight terror menace
"This is the new menace of our time. My father's generation were in the last conventional war to be fought on the soil of Europe, to defeat the Nazis.
Our generation grew up with the Cold War, that ended with the defeat of totalitarian communism.
This generation faces a war of a different nature from anything before."
Spain and Britain had known terrorism before, but Mr Blair said:
"This terrorism is terrorism waged without limit, without any care for the grief of the innocent and it is terrorism designed to strike at the very heart of our way of life, our democracy, our freedom and the rule of law."
This generation faces a war of a different nature from anything before ...
To defeat terrorism "we will do what is necessary to defend our way of life," he said
Realvideo of speech
analysis by Andrew Rawndsley
Blair's dramatic warnings ring terrifyingly true-BBC
New Labours 'New menace'
Jack Straw joins in: Terror 'is new totalitarianism'
He compared terrorism to the regimes which led to dictatorships in many parts of Europe earlier this century.
"Today, the greatest threat to human freedoms and human rights is terrorism," he said.
"Terrorism is the new totalitarianism...
"We cannot and must not be slow to recognise the dangers of the new totalitarianism today," he said.
He added that it was only by co-operation across Europe "that we can defeat the new forces of evil that threaten us today - we can, and we will".
Once again we see : Terror is just the excuse for the WORLDWIDE POLICE STATE
"Plain clothes anti-terrorist police are patrolling the public transport system in London for the first time.
British Transport Police have also announced that more people will be randomly stopped and searched. "
'Train marshals' to patrol Tube
"Britain's most senior police officer revealed yesterday that he would have no hesitation in asking for the army to be deployed on the street. The announcement coincided with a warning from the force that patrols the railways that it is severely short of resources. "
Top police officer ready to put troops on street
Low on resources? 'Terrorist' biological attack? Lots of victims? oh, just shoot them!!!
"POLICE could be forced to shoot members of the public to maintain order in the event of a terrorist "dirty bomb" or biological attack on Britain, it was claimed yesterday.
The Police Federation annual conference in Blackpool was told that so few officers have been trained to deal with a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological strike that they would have to resort to "very unsavoury but necessary" crowd control.
Bob Elder, the chairman of the constables' central committee, did not refer specifically to officers firing on civilians, but sources within the organisation said it was clear police could have to resort to firearms to stop contamination being spread by fleeing victims. "
Dirty bomb victims 'may be shot'
European Commission publishes Action Plan on terrorism (and crime)
plans cover terrorism but also include measures which have nothing to do with combating terrorism
- fingerprinting for EU passports and ID cards to be mandatory
- European Registry on convictions to be created on all crimes
- European Registry of all travel documents to be created
- EU passenger name records (PNR) to be collected and put on database
- UK demanding EU-wide mandatory data retention of communications
Politicians are using TERROR for their own ends: CONTROL
But are these rogue governments
During his visit to California, Aznar referred more than once about a
terrorist attack taking place in the United States in June, 2004, which
would lead to a Federal Emergency Management Agency takeover of the
U.S. (International Herald Tribune, May 15, 16, 17, Los Angeles Times,
They will do everything possible to make the U.S.
fail." He furthermore said in Los Angeles that he thought that the
government of Zapatero sent an "inappropriate message to the terrorists
by withdrawing the troops." Aznar on Tuesday had a 40-minute meeting
with President Bush in the White House. Present at the meeting were:
Vice President Dick Cheney; Condi Rice; Colin Powell; and White House
Chief of Staff Andrew Card. The White House press spokesman identified
the meeting as "private" -- "a meeting with a good friend of the
An important sidelight on these statements by Aznar is the revelation
that the group accused of carrying out the Madrid bombings was
thoroughly penetrated by the Spanish police, who had at least
informants within that group, according to El Mundo of May 6, 2004. El
Mundo reported that among the people arrested for the Madrid bombing,
were two police informants.
This paper published an exclusive report given by Rafa Zhueri, who was among those arrested after the March 11 terror bombings. Zhueri revealed that he worked for years as police informant for a part of the Spanish Civil Guard (UCO Undidad Central
Operativa). The article is headlined "I informed the Civil Guard that
an Asturian offered me dynamite."
"It cannot be ruled out that Spanish state forces or rightists linked to the government were involved in the bombings. It would not be the first time that such provocations have been staged in order to cement the grip of an unpopular regime.
One notable example is the CIA-authored Operation "Gladio," which involved a series of bomb outrages in Italy in the 1970s. These terrorist crimes were carried out to counter the growing influence of the Italian Communist Party and shift politics to the right, as part of a "strategy of tension." The Italicus train near Bologna was targeted in 1974, and in 1980 a bomb was exploded in the Bologna station's waiting room, killing 85 people.
Whoever carried out the bombings, however, the effect is the same. Such is the reactionary role played by terrorism that it is difficult to know where bankrupt politics ends and state provocation begins."
Terrorist atrocity in Madrid kills at least 192 people
"Just as World War Two, the Holocaust, the resulting nuclear arms race and the highly profitable cold war was engineered by the American fascist elite and by the loyal fascists' throughout Europe, the war on terrorism is being engineered by basically the same people. In fact, many of the same family members are involved such as George W. Bush the grandson of Prescott Bush who funnelled war aims materials to Hitler's Nazi Germany up until the end of 1942 until being quietly admonished by the turn all Jews away President Roosevelt. In Italy as in Aznar's Spain, Prime Minister Berlusconi is supported by many of the offspring of Italian fascism under Benito Mussolini.
It is my analysis that the fascists are once again uniting world wide under the ruse of the war on terrorism and because all the polling data in Spain showed a neck-and-neck race between the Popular Party and Spain's socialists as more than 90 percent of the Spanish population was opposed to war in Iraq, the American fascists in the White House along with the Spanish fascists simply decided to rig the election with an act of terrorism would be blamed on the ETA. Contracting the terrorists just as the Bush regime did for 9/11 and aiding and abetting the terrorists in order to guarantee success of the contract."
The Usual Suspects, Fascists. Lloyd Hart
Spain suspects 'were informants'|
The Spanish interior ministry says it is investigating reports that two suspects in the 11 March Madrid train bombings were police informants.
The move came after Spain's El Mundo newspaper said Moroccan Rafa Zuher and Spaniard Jose Emilio Suarez had been in contact with police before the attacks.
The men are suspected of providing dynamite for the attacks, which killed 191 people and injured more than 2,000.
The paper said they passed on details about drug deals and other crimes.
Mr Suarez, a former miner, was arrested a week after the attacks and is the only Spanish-born suspect in custody.
According to El Mundo, he was an informant for the National Police, providing information about trafficking in weapons, drugs and explosives...
The paper said Mr Zuher, who was arrested later in March, had passed on information to the Civil Guards in Madrid about low-level drug deals involving hashish and ecstasy.
El Mundo, citing security sources for its report, said Mr Zuher was believed to be the link between Mr Suarez, who allegedly supplied the explosives, and the cell that carried out the attacks.
BBC via INN
Bomb squad link in Spanish blasts
The man accused of supplying the dynamite used in the al-Qaeda train bombings in Madrid was in possession of the private telephone number of the head of Spain's Civil Guard bomb squad, it emerged yesterday.
Emilio Su�ez Trashorras, who is alleged to have supplied 200kg of dynamite used in the bombs, had obtained the number of Juan Jess S�chez Manzano, the head of Tedax...
The revelation has raised fresh concerns in Madrid about links between those held responsible for the March bombings, which killed 190 people, and Spain's security services, and shortcomings in the police investigation. Se�r Su�ez Trashorras and two other men implicated in the bombings have already been identified as police informers. Other members of the group had evaded police surveillance, despite concerns within the security services about their activities and evidence of their association with al-Qaeda.
The telephone number of Se�r S�chez Manzano was contained in a Civil Guard dossier handed to Juan del Olmo, the investigating judge, at the National Court in Madrid. The number was written on a piece of paper found in the possession of Carmen Toro, the wife of Se�r Su�ez Trashorras. Both are in custody accused of supplying dynamite used in the Madrid bombs.
Times via INN
Discrepancies emerge as Spanish bomb enquiry probes deeper
MADRID : Discrepancies started to emerge as members of the Spanish parliament probing the aftermath of the March 11 rail bombings quizzed police on duty on the day of Spain's worst ever terror attack.
Police chief inspector Luis Martin Gomez told the enquiry how he had examined a van understood to have been used by the bombers in the town of Alcala de Henares, the small town east of Madrid from where they set off with their deadly cargo.
Gomez said he saw nothing suspicious in the seized vehicle, which he looked over only briefly "for two or three seconds" before it was transported to Madrid for further investigations.
A later search uncovered detonators and a tape containing Koranic verses.
Gomez then described earlier intelligence service claims that the detonators had been left clearly in view as if to call deliberate attention to them as "utterly false".
The question of at what point evidence of likely involvement by Islamic extremists in the attacks which killed nearly 200 people and injured some 2,000 is a significant part of the political debate.
Channel News Asia
Saudi says Al-Qaeda local chief, suspected Madrid bomber killed
Sat Apr 9, RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia confirmed that security forces killed Saud al-Otaibi, described as Al-Qaeda's chief in the kingdom, and Moroccan Abdel Karim al-Mejati, suspected mastermind of the Madrid train bombings, during clashes this week.
The pair were among 15 Al-Qaeda suspects killed in a three-day gunbattle which ended Tuesday in the northern Al-Qassim region, the interior ministry said in a statement Saturday carried on official media, updating an earlier death toll of 14.
It was the bloodiest battle in a nearly two-year-old campaign by security forces against Islamist militants behind a wave of attacks in the ultra-conservative Muslim Gulf state.
The killing of Otaibi, whom the ministry described as "head of the gang" responsible for bombings, and Mejati, had previously been widely reported but not officially confirmed.
The interior ministry named only 10 of the 15 killed in the marathon gunbattle, one of whom was Mejati's son. It named three of the six militants in custody since the clashes, five of whom were wounded.
Saleh al-Oufi, who was alleged to be Al-Qaeda's local chief and who was reported killed by a Saudi dissident group and in some media, was not mentioned. It was not clear if he was among those whose names were withheld.
Mejati and Otaibi figured on Saudi Arabia's most-wanted list of 26 militants.
Mejati also faced an outstanding 20-year jail term handed down in absentia by a Moroccan court in December 2003 for his role in that year's Casablanca bombings which left 45 people dead.
Moroccan police believe Mejati was one of the ringleaders of a homegrown Islamic militant movement called the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), which is also believed to have been behind the March 2004 Madrid train bombings, Spain's worst attack with 191 dead and 1,900 wounded. - news.yahoo
Terror allegations tearfully denied
MADRID, Spain — An accused Islamic militant who says he is simply a martial arts and physical education instructor burst into tears yesterday as he denied belonging to a terrorist cell that allegedly helped plot the Sept. 11 attacks.
Abdulla Khayata Katan, 29, also claimed that Spain's top counterterrorism judge browbeat him into making false statements about fellow defendants.
Katan said guards at a Jordanian jail humiliated and abused him during a three-day interrogation in February 2004. Judge Baltasar Garzon, an investigative magistrate, then pressured him into falsely incriminating the accused terror-cell leader, Imad Yarkas, and others, Katan said.
"I am completely innocent," he said. "I have nothing to do with what they accuse me of."
Katan is one of 24 suspected al-Qaida members on trial in Madrid since April 22. Three are accused specifically of helping plot the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. Hours of the taped testimony were played in court yesterday. But as the tape played, Katan accused Garzon of putting words in his mouth to suggest Yarkas recruited men for terrorist training in Bosnia and Afghanistan. In testimony last week, Yarkas denied charges he helped arrange a July 2001 planning session in Spain for a suspected suicide pilot and an alleged coordinator of the airline attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The other 21 defendants, including Katan, face charges of terrorism, illegal possession of weapons or explosives or other offenses. Katan is not accused of having direct involvement in the Sept. 11 plot. - Seattle Times
Madrid bomb suspect to be extradited from UK
LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - A Syrian-born man accused of playing a role in last year's Madrid train bombings will be extradited to Spain from Britain following a court ruling on Thursday.
Moutaz Almallah Dabas has been fighting extradition since his arrest in Britain in March, but a judge in London decreed he must go back to Spain to face trial.
"You will be extradited within the next 10 days," Judge Anthony Evans told Dabas at Bow Street Magistrates Court.
Madrid has charged Dabas with collaborating with an Islamist extremist organisation and "enabling the provision of care for radical Islamists in order to transfer them abroad.
"The alleged facts are that between 2000 and March 12, 2004, the defendant was responsible for providing support and accommodation in Madrid for Islamic terrorists," Evans said. "Some of the people whom he assisted were responsible for the Madrid bombings of March 11, 2004."
The judge said Dabas was allegedly a close associate of Sarhene Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, one of seven men who blew themselves up in Madrid after being surrounded by police investigating the bombings.
Earlier this year, Spain's El Pais newspaper cited a leaked police report which suggested Dabas and his brother Mouhannad had played a bigger role in the bombings and may even have masterminded them.
Without them, the report said, "the March 11 attacks possibly would not have occurred".
The Madrid bombings killed nearly 200 people and helped sweep Spain's Socialist party to power on a wave of voter anger at the ruling conservatives' support for the war in Iraq and their attempts to blame the bombings on Basque separatists ETA.
The decision to extradite Dabas, who holds Spanish citizenship, shows how cases have been speeded up by a new European arrest warrant. He will be extradited within nine months of his arrest, whereas previous such cases have sometimes dragged on for years.
Spain arrests man suspected of aiding Madrid bombers
By Elizabeth Fullerton MADRID, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Spain said on Thursday it had arrested a Moroccan man who police say helped three key suspects in the 2004 Madrid train bombings flee the country to go to Iraq where they may have joined insurgents.
The Interior Ministry named the man as Omar Nakhcha, 23, and said he helped Mohamed Afalah, Mohamed Belhadj and Daouh Ouhnane escape from Spain after the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people. Nakhcha, who authorities believe was in Belgium at the time, arranged for their passage to Iraq via Syria, the ministry said in a statement. Spanish authorities believe Afalah died in a suicide attack in Iraq in May 2005 and a government source said it was likely the other two also joined the insurgency against the Iraqi government and the U.S.-led forces supporting it.
"The other two arrived in Iraq but we don't know where they are now," the source said.
Nakhcha's arrest and that of 20 people earlier this week point to growing evidence that Iraqi militants recruited fighters in European countries to join the insurgency in Iraq.
French officials said last year at least five young men from a single Paris district had already died fighting in Iraq, one of them in a suicide attack. A 38-year-old Belgian woman blew herself up near Baghdad in November in what was believed to be the first suicide attack in Iraq by a European woman. Islamist militants claimed the March 11 attacks in the name of al Qaeda, describing the bombings as revenge for Spain sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq when he took office a month after the Madrid bombings.
The Interior Ministry said Nakhcha, who was arrested when walking down a street in the northeastern region of Catalonia, led two militant cells that sent fighters to Iraq. Police on Tuesday arrested 15 Moroccans, three Spaniards, one Turk and an Algerian accused of being members of the cells.
MARCH 11 LINK
But Nakhcha's most intriguing suspected link is to the March 11 bombings. The Interior Ministry said the three fugitives sought help from a network of cells, headed by Nakhcha, that it said were connected to the al Qaeda-linked Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (MICG). Nakhcha is suspected of helping the MICG organise the travel of volunteer fighters between Iraq and Europe.
"He supplied the terrorists with false documentation, as well as those who returned to Europe to be integrated into Islamist cells after spending some time in Iraq," the Interior Ministry statement said.
Officials say Belhadj rented a Madrid apartment where seven prime suspects in the bombing blew themselves up in April 2004 as police closed in on them. The Daouh Ouhnane suspected of being helped by Nakhcha appears to be the same man -- then named as Ouhnane Daoud -- who police identified in May 2004 as a suspect in the Madrid bombings after matching his fingerprints to those on a plastic bag containing seven detonators.
An Interior Ministry spokesman could not confirm if it was the same man, however.
One of the cells said to be headed by Nakhcha was responsible for recruiting an Algerian who killed 19 Italians and nine Iraqis in a suicide bombing in Iraq in 2003, the Interior Ministry says. The cells operated in Madrid, Barcelona and the Basque country and had connections in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, it said. Spanish police have arrested more than 200 suspected Islamist militants since the Madrid bombings, but a trial of March 11 suspects is not expected to start until late this year. (Additional reporting by Blanca Rodriguez)
Spain: More military threats against Zapatero government
By Paul Stuart 28 January 2006
Further military threats have been made against the Socialist Party (PSOE) government in Spain. Following Spanish General Mena's threat to deploy the military to oppose the passing of a statute granting greater autonomy to Catalonia, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has attempted to downplay the incident as the actions of a maverick. But the British Financial Times reported that Captain González of the notorious Legionnaires has now published a letter attacking Zapatero and describing widespread hostility in the military to the Catalan Statute which he says threatens the unity of the Spanish "fatherland."
González threatened to march his troops to Madrid and deliver the letter in person. The last time Legionnaires marched to Madrid was during the July 1936 military/fascist insurrection led by General Francisco Franco. This was greeted by a major uprising in the working class that halted the fascist advance, which was sabotaged by the Popular Front government dominated by the PSOE and the Spanish Communist Party (PCE).
González's statement was the second in a matter of weeks by a senior military figure. On January 7, retiring Lieutenant-General Jose Mena Aguado, commander of Spain's 50,000 ground troops, threatened military intervention should the PSOE government legalise the Catalan statute giving the Catalan autonomous government control over its own revenue and status as a "nation."
PSOE's Defence Minister Jose Bono dismissed Mena's statement as a matter of military "indiscipline." In a radio interview he praised the military: "No institution has adapted itself so completely to democracy as the armed forces."
Josep Bargalló, a leader of the separatist Catalan Republican Left in coalition with the majority Catalan PSOE, echoed the position of Bono. After stating that the ghosts of Franco still remained, he declared, "This is twenty-first century Europe. We do not have military uprisings."
The Financial Times explained that González's letter published by Melilla Hoy, a daily in the Spanish African colonial enclave of Melilla, responded to the claims that there was no unrest in the military:
"Well, Mr. prime minister, your advisors have not told you the truth.... There is a lot of unease, within and outside the armed forces, which see how Spain is being dismembered, how the national flag is burned in public, how terrorists are allowed to hold demonstrations and social events, and how a generation of Spaniards no longer recognize Spain as their fatherland."
In earlier reports the Financial Times also sought to downplay General Mena's statement, declaring that the era of the "pronunciamento" or military coups was a thing of the past. This was repeated in the Spanish press. However in its response to Captain González, the FT have had to consider historical parallels to events prior to the civil war: "Capt González said his only doubt was whether he should have marched his legionnaires to Madrid, to deliver the letter in person, or publish it in the press. Few Spaniards would have missed the historical analogy: in July 1936, the military uprising led by General Francisco Franco also began with a rebellion of the Spanish Legion in colonial Morocco."
On January 24, the New York Times made similar palliatives to the strength of democratic institutions but then discussed parallels from Spanish history:
"It is a basic principle of democracy that army officers do not challenge the legitimacy of elected governments or talk about marching their troops into the capital to overturn decisions of parliament. Yet that is just what has happened twice this month in Spain, a country whose twentieth century history compels it to take such threats seriously ... it [is] easy to forget the horrors of the civil war and the brutal dictatorship that preceded it. Those nightmares began when right-wing army officers rebelled against an elected left-wing government they considered illegitimate and too deferential to regional separatists."
PP senator compares PSOE election to a coup
The Times then makes a direct parallel with the situation today and implicates the Popular Party in lending backing to the officers as a continuation of its efforts to de-legitimise the PSOE government and reverse the results of the 14 March 2004 general election.
The editorial continues, "Spanish society, Spanish politicians and, for the most part, Spanish military officers have come a long way from that era, moderating their views and deepening their commitment to democratic give-and-take. But the Popular Party has had a hard time getting over its electoral defeat nearly two years ago, days after the terrorist bombing of commuter trains in Madrid. It has never really accepted the democratic legitimacy of that vote. It is time for the Popular Party to move ahead. Spanish democracy needs and deserves vigorous bipartisan support."
The PP rejected last year's election result and has accused the PSOE of manipulating the antiwar movement to bring down the government of Jose Maria Aznar. On January 17, in the latest of a series of statements, PP Senator for Melilla, Carlos Benet, compared the election of the PSOE government with the military coups of 1874 and 1981.
Benet urged his supporters never to forget how the election in March 2004 had taken place. In 1874, he continued, General Pavia had entered the Congress on a horse. In 1981, Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejeros entered Congress with a pistol and Zapatero entered Congress in March 2004 with a suburban train. He was referring to the March 11, 2004 Madrid bombings.
It was popular anger at the attempt by the PP to blame the Basque separatist group ETA for a crime committed by Islamic fundamentalists in response to Spain's participation in the Iraq war that galvanized public opposition to the PP and brought the PSOE to power. The PP has waged a campaign to proclaim this election victory as a coup. Benet's statement is an old trick of the far right, accusing the PSOE of committing the crime that they themselves are ready to commit.
On January 3, 1874, General Pavia stormed the Cortes overthrowing the short-lived republican government and instituted a military dictatorship of General Serrano. On February 23, 1981, Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejeros stormed parliament during a televised session and fired shots into the roof and arrested ministers. The coup was aborted out of fear of socialist revolution. Both events were the outcome of conspiracies by the same social forces behind the present campaign of the PP.
The PP senator and president of the municipal council of Lugo (Galicia), Francisco Cacharro, defended Benet by stating he "expressed loudly a thought that is shared by millions of Spaniards." Cacharro declared that Benet spoke about a fact with which "everybody agrees but that cannot be spoken about because there is no proof."
José Manuel Soria, the PP's leader for the Canaries-a Spanish colonial possession-added his support to Benet, describing Zapatero as, "the worst thing that has happened to Spanish democracy since Tejero."
The PSOE mildly requested an apology. Benet did so half-heartedly, passing off the incident as a joke in bad taste.
The recent military threats are a dramatic escalation of the PP's campaign against the PSOE that began when Aznar accused the party of organising the protests outside PP headquarters on March 13, 2004. He described this as unconstitutional under the law that prohibits political campaigning the day before a general election.
Aznar and the PP have used this to demand a criminal investigation into the PSOE and ultimately to provide a basis for removing the government from office. He denounced the PSOE for allowing the working class to remove a government in a popular revolt. On July 5, 2005, the day before the official Commission of Inquiry into the Madrid bombings commenced, Aznar declared, "Terrorists had achieved their goal in toppling the government." Aznar would also state, "It is difficult to recall another day so profoundly antidemocratic as March 13.... Those responsible for the protests are part of the left and they have the worst stains around their necks."
On November 29, 2004, Aznar's testimony to the commission was framed as a denunciation of the PSOE. He described as "unprecedented harassment of a government" and the "fabrication" of the theory that his administration "was hiding information." He declared, "It was others who lied.... They perverted the truth and effectively supported a most serious breach of the rules of our democracy."
Last summer the PP released a propaganda film entitled After the Massacre, which denounced the election victory of the PSOE as an act of "antidemocratic coercion" by the "left" and "anti-establishment" organizations. The film was produced by the PP's think tank, the Foundation for the Analysis of Social Studies (FAES), for a meeting entitled "Free elections and their enemies: terrorism and radical agitation." The film accuses the "left" of engaging in "two days of political agitation aiming at influencing the voting intentions of citizens," and of using antidemocratic methods to seize power by organizing protest demonstrations-a "theatrical display rehearsed months before" in order to "seed the streets with hatred" and "blame the government for the massacre."
Madrid Bombings Show No al-Qaida Ties
By PAUL HAVEN, Associated Press Writer Thu Mar 9, 4:19 PM ET
MADRID, Spain - A two-year probe into the Madrid train bombings concludes the Islamic terrorists who carried out the blasts were homegrown radicals acting on their own rather than at the behest of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, two senior intelligence officials said.
Spain still remains home to a web of radical Algerian, Moroccan and Syrian groups bent on carrying out attacks - and aiding the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq - the Spanish intelligence chief and a Western official intimately involved in counterterrorism measures in Spain told The Associated Press.
The intelligence chief said there were no phone calls between the Madrid bombers and al-Qaida and no money transfers. The Western official said the plotters had links to other Islamic radicals in Western Europe, but the plan was hatched and organized in Spain. "This was not an al-Qaida operation," he said. "It was homegrown."
Both men spoke on condition of anonymity, the first because Spanish security officials are not allowed to discuss details of an ongoing investigation and the second due to the sensitive nature of his job.
The attack has been frequently described as al-Qaida-linked since a man who identified himself as Abu Dujan al-Afghani and said he was al-Qaida's "European military spokesman," claimed responsibility in a video released two days later.
Ahead of Saturday's anniversary of the March 11, 2004 blasts - which killed 191 people and wounded 1,500 - victims' groups have been clamoring for more progress in the investigation.
Gabriel Moris, whose 30-year-old son died in the bombings, said: "These past two years have done nothing to clear up what happened. My questions are simple: Who ordered the massacre? Who killed my son and the other innocent victims?"
The intelligence official said authorities know more than they have revealed, including the suspected ideological and operational masterminds of the attack.
"We haven't explained it well enough to the victims because we can't reveal judicial secrets," he said, adding the investigation is nearly complete.
Authorities believe the ideological mastermind was Serhan Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, a Tunisian who blew himself up along with six other suspects when police surrounded their apartment three weeks after the bombings, and that Jamal Ahmidan, a Moroccan who also died that day, was the "military planner."
Law enforcement had focused on another man, Allekema Lamari, as the head of the group. But the official said evidence, particularly from wiretapped phone conversations, indicated it was Ahmidan who gave the military orders. Lamari also died in the apartment blast in a Madrid suburb as authorities closed in.
Some 116 people have been arrested in the bombings, and 24 remain jailed. At least three others - Said Berraj, Mohammed Belhadj and Daoud Ouhane - are sought by authorities, though all are believed to have fled Spain long ago. The intelligence official said the top planners are all either dead or in jail.
While the plotters of the Madrid attack were likely motivated by bin Laden's October 2003 call for attacks on European countries that supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, there is no evidence they were in contact with the al-Qaida leader's inner circle, the intelligence official said.
Most of the plotters were Moroccan and Syrian immigrants, many with criminal records in Spain for drug trafficking and other crimes. They paid for explosives used in the attack with hashish.
That is a far cry from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States - allegedly planned by al-Qaida leaders like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh and funded directly by the terror network through international wire transfers and Islamic banking schemes.
Paul Wilkinson, chairman of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, said the model used in Madrid, and likely for the July 7 London transport bombings fits in well with al-Qaida's business plan. "Al-Qaida is not and never was a topdown organization that did everything in terms of attacks around the world. They have a key role in ideological terms ... but they rely on local cells and those that are inspired to carry out these attacks," he said.
After the fact, bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri are happy to claim responsibility because they recognize the carnage as inspired by their movement. Still, Wilkinson cautioned that just because no direct link has been established between the Madrid plotters and al-Qaida, it doesn't mean none exists. "If security officials knew everything that was going on, we would have caught Osama bin Laden by now," he said. Both the Spanish intelligence chief and the Western official said there is reason for concern despite the lack of a direct al-Qaida connection.
"There were a lot of moving parts to the March 11 plot, but we were still not able to detect it, and that is scary because a similar thing could happen again," said the Western counterterrorism official. "Since March 11, there have been plans for other significant attacks that the Spanish have disrupted."
Those plans include a scheme in late 2004 to bomb buildings in Barcelona, including the 1992 Olympic village and office towers known as the city's World Trade Center complex. Police also thwarted a 2004 plot by Moroccan and Algerian militants to level Madrid's National Court - a hub for anti-terror investigations - with a 1,100-pound truck bomb.
And agents specializing in Islamic terrorism have arrested dozens of suspects - all allegedly working to recruit potential suicide bombers for the Iraq insurgency.
At least two Spanish citizens - including March 11 suspect Mohammed Afalah - are believed to have blown themselves up in Iraq, and an investigation by the respected El Pais daily revealed some 80 others have traveled to the country in recent months intending to do the same.
The intelligence official said the March 11 attacks were a wakeup call, and authorities are much better prepared now to stop Islamic terrorism. But he said the bombings show how easy it is for those bent on terrorism to carry out attacks.
He said authorities believe the Madrid bombers learned how to construct the bombs - all connected to Mitsubishi Trium T110 mobile phones - from Internet sites linked to radical Islamic groups. The devices were similar to ones used in the 2002 Bali bombing, he said, evidence that militants in both countries got information on the same radical Web sites.
Spanish authorities were monitoring several of the bombers in the months before the attack - and actually stopped Ahmidan's car on a highway in late February, unaware he was leading a caravan of other terrorists transporting the explosives used in the blasts.
The intelligence official said authorities had never imagined a group of petty drug traffickers were capable of planning such a massive attack.
"Had we been told a day before (the bombing) that this is what was going on, we would have dismissed it," he said.
- Yahoo News
ETA urges support for peace process after ceasefire
MADRID (AFP) 23rd March - The armed Basque separatist group ETA called for government and locals to act in support of peace a day after announcing a permanent ceasefire, but Spain warned there was a "long road" to resolving the four-decade conflict.
ETA followed up its declaration of a ceasefire, to take effect Friday, by urging all parts of Basque society to "move from words to action" by getting involved in the process. The declarations prompted a cautious response, rooted in the experience of past failures and broken ceasefires, from politicians and media who warned the country still had a long road ahead to cement lasting peace.
Wednesday's communique was the first time in its half-century history that ETA had promised to renounce violence on a "permanent" basis. Previous ceasefires, in 1989 and 1998-1999, collapsed within months as ETA renewed its armed campaign for an independent state covering Spain's northern Basque region and parts of southwestern France.
The group said this ceasefire, which meets the key government condition for political talks, would take effect from midnight (2300 GMT Thursday). "It is the moment to act with courage and take deep decisions, moving from words to action," ETA said.
In an extended statement printed in the Basque nationalist daily Gara, the movement said that it was "up to all sectors of Basque society to develop this process and conciliate all the agreements on the future" of the region.
In the Basque region itself, many people voiced cautious optimism. Customers in the Herriko Taberna (people's tavern) in a suburb of Bilbao, a favoured haunt for Basque radicals, suspected a deal might have been done with the government of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
For Begona, a woman working at the bar, "the ball is now in the court of the government."
Zapatero welcomed the ETA move on Wednesday, saying that Spaniards were now "united by hope" but stressing that the government was reacting with "caution and prudence". "A long road lies ahead," he added.
The European Union and the United States, who have put ETA on their respective terror blacklists, also voiced reserve. The executive European Commission called the announcement "an important development", but said it was up to individual governments to decide whether to remove ETA from the EU terror blacklist.
"Any decisive steps taken by ETA to walk away from the use of violence and terror should be welcomed," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington.
Spain's main conservative opposition Popular Party called on ETA simply to disband, and Amnesty International said it hoped the price of peace would not be turning a blind eye to ETA's past misdeeds. "Human rights cannot be exchanged" for talks, Amnesty said in a statement, warning that those who had carried out "serious human rights violations" must not escape justice.
The general secretary of the Basque Socialist Party, Patxi Lopez, said the government should not sit down straight away with the radicals. "It is not simply a question of stopping committing attacks -- they have to stop racketeering and threatening the whole of society, and abandon urban violence," Lopez said.
The pro-government El Pais hailed an "unparalleled opportunity" for peace, saying "it would be irresponsible not to try to make good use of it," but the conservative daily El Mundo was sceptical, seeing "a text and a context which inspire more worry than hope."
Although ETA's last fatal attack was in May 2003, it has continued to wage low-level violence with car bombs, attacks on public buildings and extortion. The organisation has been severely weakened by cooperation between French and Spanish police which resulted in a recent wave of arrests. Analysts also say the new climate after the March 2004 Madrid rail bombings which killed 191 people -- initially blamed on ETA before Islamic extremists were fingered -- helped swing attitudes against violence.
In the southwestern French city of Bayonne, ETA's political wing Batasuna called on Paris to engage in the "process of resolving the Basque conflict" but France insists that Spain must take the lead in determining how to proceed following ETA's move.
Meanwhile judicial sources said a high court judge had postponed until next Wednesday an appearance scheduled for Friday by Batasuna leader Arnaldo Otegi as he recovers from a bout of bronchitis. Otegi faces jail over allegations that he instigated violence at a general strike he called in the region to protest the deaths of two Basque prisoners. - news.yahoo.com
MADRID BOMBING CHARGES LAID
A Spanish judge has charged 29 people with murder, terrorism and other crimes in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings which killed 191 people and injured more than 1700 others.
Investigating magistrate Juan del Olmo handed down the charges contained in a 1,500-page indictment at the National Court following a two-year probe.
Moroccans Jamal Zougam, Abdelmajid Bouchar, Youssef Belhadj and Hassan el Haski and an Egyptian, Rabei Ousman Sayed Ahmed were accused of 191 murders and 1,755 attempted murders.
In addition to the murder count the six were also charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation and four others with simply charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation alone.
Eleven others were charged with collaboration and eight Spaniards were charged with involvement in handling explosives.
Jamal Zougam, a Moroccan merchant, is alleged to have supplied mobile phones used as detonators in the 10 backpack bombs that ripped through four crowded trains on the morning of March 11, 2004.
A trial is not expected until next year but in the meantime Mr Del Olmo can continue to gather evidence and hand down more indictments.
The suspects accused of murder will probably face jail terms of thousands of years if convicted, although they could only be held in jail for a maximum of 40.
Spain has no death penalty or life imprisonment but Spanish prosecutors routinely request symbolically long jail terms in terrorism cases.
In the aftermath of the attacks, Islamic militants claimed responsibility on behalf of al-Qaeda, citing the blasts were in retaliation to the Spanish government's commitment of troops in the war in Iraq.
In elections three days after the attacks voters punished the conservative government at the polls and the victorious socialists, who had opposed the war, quickly fulfilled an election campaign promise and brought the troops home.
The defeated former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar initially blamed armed Basque separatist group ETA for the carnage, despite the claim of responsibility from Islamic radicals.
But the judge ruled out ETA involvement Tuesday. - www9.sbs.com.au
Madrid suspects 'planned' attack in Belgium
12 April 2006 BRUSSELS - expatica.com/
Two suspected terrorists charged over the Madrid train bombings were in Belgium around the time of the attack. They are among six suspects charged by a Spanish judge with 191 murders and 1,755 attempted murders. The six suspects have been identified as five Moroccan men and a Spaniard.
Two of the suspects were in Belgium immediately before and after the bombings. One of them was in Brussels and the other in Masseik in Limburg. A third man accused of the murders is also known to the Belgian judiciary.
All three are among the 29 suspects ordered to stand trial for involvement in the 11 March 2004 Madrid bombings. The three men were also involved in the recent Brussels Court trial of terrorists linked to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM). GICM is accused of the train bombings in Madrid and the Casablanca bombings in Morocco in May 2003.
The two men who were in Belgium have been identified as Moroccans Youssef Belhadj and Hassan El Haski. Belhadj was arrested on request from Spain in the spring of 2004 in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek. He was staying with his brother Mimoun, an alleged GICM member also. Belhadj is believed to be the military spokesman of GICM and is suspected of claim responsibility for the Madrid attacks in a video recording. El Haski was arrested in December 2004 on the island of Lanzarote and is considered to be the ideologist of the GICM network. He stayed in Maaseik with his brothers Lahoussine and Mehdi. Lahoussine was sentenced to a seven-year jail term at the recent Brussels GICM trial.
The third man known to the Belgian judiciary was Rabei Osman. He is believed to have confessed his role in the Madrid bombings to his Brussels friend Mourad Chabarou, one of the 13 suspects placed on trial in the Belgian capital.
Burning of sanctuary stokes fears of Islamophobia in Spain
Giles Tremlett in Madrid - Tuesday April 18, 2006 - The Guardian
An arson attack over the Easter weekend on a Muslim sanctuary in the Spanish city of Ceuta marked another step in what some experts fear is a growing incidence of Islamophobia in the country.
Ceuta lies on a small peninsula in North Africa and a third of the population is Muslim. The burning of the Sidi Bel Abbas sanctuary comes just three months after another sanctuary in the enclave was attacked by arsonists.
Authorities in the city said yesterday that they were considering putting security cameras around mosques, shrines and buildings belonging to other religions in order to dissuade potential attackers.
Although it was unclear yesterday whether those who burned the sanctuary were non-Muslims or fundamentalists opposed to the form of worship practised by local Muslims, it came amid reports of a growing number of attacks across Spain.
El País newspaper yesterday listed a number of mosques and other Muslim targets that have been ransacked, burned or had copies of the Qur'an set alight by intruders.
Police said that extreme rightwingers and skinhead groups were responsible for almost all the attacks.
"They want Spain to have the same sort of violent reaction that the Netherlands had after the murder of film director Theo van Gogh," one police expert told El País. "Little by little they are creating an atmosphere for this to grow."
Spain's 800,000 Muslims, many of them immigrants from neighbouring Morocco, have some 600 mosques around the country.
Spain's imams, however, prefer not to publicise attacks in order to avoid copycat incidents and angry reactions from within their own community. "We try to avoid confrontation," Moneir Mahmoud, who runs the main mosque in Madrid, explained.
Protests against the caricatures of the prophet Muhammad that appeared in the European press were kept within the walls of Spanish mosques in order to not to provoke counter-reactions.
At least four towns in the eastern region of Catalonia, however, have seen attacks on mosques and Muslim butchers, some with Molotov cocktails.
In the eastern town of Reus, police detained two car-loads of skinheads armed with Molotov cocktails as they headed towards the local mosque.
The train bombings that killed 191 people in Madrid two years ago and growing Islamophobia since the September 11 attacks were largely to blame.
"We never had things like this happen before," Imad Alnaddar, who is in charge of the main mosque in Valencia, told El País.