Sunday, March 14, 2004

Oops! You Mean, No Basques?

Today at Berria English:

Three Moroccans and two Indians arrested in connection with attack

Acebes said they were detained following the lead of a telephone discovered in a bag which failed to go off

Editorial Staff – DONOSTIA (San Sebastian)
Last night Angel Acebes, the Spanish Interior Minister, announced the arrest of five people who could be linked to the Madrid attacks: three are Moroccans and the other two Indians. He said they had been detained yesterday afternoon, because they were thought to have had something to do with the “sale and tampering” of a phone and SIM card found in the bag of explosives that did not go off.

Minister went on to explain that statements were also being taken from two Spaniards of Indian origin. He stressed that the operation “had only just begun” and asked for caution. He said that the police were searching the homes of the detainees. He explained that the operation was being directed by “the corresponding judge” of the Spanish National Criminal Court.

Despite admitting that a lot of progress was being made in the line of investigation relating to the involvement of an Islamist organisation, Acebes said that neither the hypothesis concerning ETA, nor the possibility of “cooperation between terrorist organisations” should be ruled out. Acebes was pleased with the way the investigation was proceeding. “Even though we’ve only just begun, we have obtained important results already. For instance, it is only 60 hours after the attack we already have five arrests. This investigation opens up an important path along which to advance,” he said. Nevertheless, he reiterated that it was necessary to proceed “with caution”. He was proud of the work of the Spanish Security forces. “They have confirmed what I said on the first day, that we would arrest the perpetrators of the attack and that they would pay for what they had done,” he said.

However, he still clung on to the possibility of ETA being responsible: “Other theories must not be ruled out. From the beginning we instructed the Police to follow up the two main lines and they continue to work along all the lines.”

Acebes did not confirm that the detainees were being accused of being behind the attack, but that they could have been responsible for the tampering and sale of the phone which had been discovered. “It is now up to the police to take their statements and look into the extent to which they could be responsible.” The mobile phone was discovered the day before yesterday in a bag along with explosives and a detonator taken from one of the trains. Sources close to the investigations indicated that the examination of the configuration of the phone card would be crucial. A radio station said yesterday, before Acebes announced the arrests, that the configuration of the phone was in Arabic.

.... ... .

No comments:

Post a Comment