Tuesday, March 30, 2004

El Periodico, which is usually rather--how shall I put it? Bumwad? Bogroll? TP?--says that the cops have reconstructed how the 3/11 bombings in Madrid were carried out. Ten men placed the 14 bombs on the trains. Four of those who placed the bombs are already in custody; one is Jamal Zougam. The other six bombers' identities are known to the police, and they are all thought to have fled Spain. Numerous witnesses to the placing of the bombs and the actual explosions have identified these men, who are apparently all Arabs.

The bombers chose the date of March 11 specifically because it was exactly two and a half years after the 9/11 bombings, but they also planned to disrupt the March 14 elections, which they certainly succeeded in doing. Several of the bombers' conspirators are lowlifes involved in small-time drug and weapon trafficking, or small-time phone scammers--making it even less likely this was a professional job.

I really think that all they needed were ten guys to get on trains, leave a pre-loaded bag or two, and get off at the same station or, failing that, the next one down the line. They had somebody smart enough to figure out the train schedules, which isn't too hard since they're posted and given away on flyers at every station--though Zougam, for example, is clearly more than smart enough, you'd be surprised at the number of people who can't figure out something that simple--, they had somebody smart enough to make the bombs, and we know who he was, and they had the small-time prison connections that hooked them up with Suarez, the dynamite seller.

(Suarez and his brother-in-law got busted in 2001 with, get this, 84 kilos of hashish, three kilos of cocaine, 16 sticks of dynamite, and 94 detonators. What the hell were they doing out of jail? I know a guy in America who got six years in the slam for selling, admittedly, fairly large quantities of LSD through the mail, and he served all six in Leavenworth. Jeez. I couldn't smoke 84 kilos of hashish no matter how hard I tried, and believe me, I'd try.)

Then all the planners had to do was pass out the bombs, leave them on the trains, and bail out. I will bet that these guys who did the hit were mostly very low-level guys perhaps operating autonomously, though there's no question the money is Al Qaeda--no fanatic suicide bombers, no complicated training, nobody with specialized skills but one or two, nobody who had to plan five years ahead and get pilot training and all that stuff.

The brains behind the whole operation, Mr. Big himself, is one Abdelkarim Thami Mayati, a French citizen of Moroccan origin, according to the Moroccan cops. He is thought to be the operations boss of the Moroccan Combatant Group. The Moroccans have apparently arrested several dozen Islamic pro-terror activists and are sorting them out into people they're going to kill and people they're merely going to imprison, or something like that.

No comments: