First Published: 2005-04-01

12 suspects arrested with links to Madrid attacks

Six of those detained in operation involving around 100 police officers are Moroccans.


Middle East Online

Arrests ongoing

MADRID - Spanish police on Friday arrested 12 people with suspected links to Islamic extremist movements and those who carried out the Madrid train bombings last year, the interior ministry announced.

The ministry said four of those arrested had close ties to Youssef Belhadj, the man believed to be Al-Qaeda's spokesman in Europe who was extradited Friday from Belgium to Spain on suspicion of involvement in the March 2004 attacks.

The ministry added that six of those detained in the operation involving around 100 police officers were Moroccans.

Three were Syrians, one an Egyptian, another a Palestinian and one an Algerian, the ministry said.

They are suspected of "being linked to Islamic terrorism and with those behind the March 11 attacks in Madrid," a ministry statement read.

A total of 191 people died in the coordinated bombings of four commuter trains in Spain's worst ever terrorist attack, blamed on mainly Moroccan Islamic radicals linked to Al-Qaeda.

The Spanish judiciary has thus far identified 74 people whom they believe were involved in the attacks. Twenty-four of them, most of them Moroccans, are currently in custody facing charges.

Four of the six Moroccans arrested Friday are brothers, the ministry revealed, naming them as Mhamed, Driss, Hassan and Mohamed Haddad, all believed to have received their compatriot Belhadj at their home in July 2003.

Belhadj appeared on a video which surfaced shortly after the attacks claiming responsibility for them in the name of Al-Qaeda.

Other suspects arrested Friday are thought to be linked to Serhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, nicknamed "The Tunisian," considered the mastermind behind the attacks and one of seven suspects who blew themselves up rather than face capture in a police raid on a flat in a Madrid suburb last April.


UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

Barzani delays Kurdish independence vote announcement

Iran defies US, tests missile

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Saudi Arabia marks national day with fireworks, concerts

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen

Turkey warns of 'security' steps in response to Iraqi Kurd vote

Syria's war off the radar at UN assembly

For many Iraqis, tradition trumps police

Darfur clashes kill 3 as Bashir urges reconciliation

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time