Thursday, March 18, 2004

Four more arrests have been made in Spain related to the Madrid bombings, three in Alcala and one in Gijon on the north coast. Here is CNN's story; they've got all the information we have from the Spanish media, as far as I can tell. The four arrestees are all of North African origin and are thought to be some sort of direct conspirators in the bombings. Jamal Zougam, who looks like the only real conspirator of the five who had already been arrested, and his four co-bustees, went to their first judicial hearing today.

Zougam has some big-time connections; he has met with Abu Dadah, the boss of Al Qaeda in Spain. These guys are connected to the Courtellier brothers, two French converts to Islam, to Amu Qatada, Al Qaeda's man in London, and to the whole Finsbury Park organization in London.

Here's the BBC's report; they're saying that the Spanish cops are hunting for some 20 Moroccans as possible conspirators and that there have been major roundups in Barcelona and Madrid. The organization responsible is supposed to be the same guys who pulled off the Casablanca bombings; it's a Moroccan extremist organization with at least some ties to Al-Qaeda. It looks like I was all wrong about ETA participation in this hit. They might very well have had nothing to do with it at all.

The dynamite in the bag that didn't explode is being traced; it was produced by the Rio Tinto company here in Spain and was recently made and of good quality.

Meanwhile, the PP has declassified the reports it got from the Spanish secret service, which demonstrate that they were informing the people what they knew, and the preliminary reports they got from the cloak-and-dagger boys all said that it was ETA. So when the government announced it was an ETA job, they were going with the best information they had rather than trying to lie or manipulate anything. In fact, their sin was to go too far, to inform too much too fast without checking to make completely sure it was true.

No comments: