Tuesday, April 11, 2006

BBC NEWS | Europe | Madrid bombing suspects charged

My thoughts on that? Finally. Although, it's interesting that I just watched a short video commemorating the Madrid bombings and several people were expressing displeasure that the government had these people in custody for two years and no one had been charged.

Then again, most of the people still see this as a domestic law issue and not an act of war so they don't comprehend intelligence gathering and exploitation. They see this as a simple criminal act that should be prosecuted.

I will be interested in how the government's case is presented considering the early mis-steps regarding ETA involvement and questions of evidence custody on one or more of the bombs.

What I find most interesting is the number of people that are being charged. It's quite extensive:

A Spanish judge has charged 29 people over the Madrid train bombings of March 2004 which claimed 191 lives and left nearly 2,000 injured.

Most of those charged are Moroccan nationals, and the indictments run to almost 1,500 pages.

The trial is expected to go ahead early next year and to last 12 months.

So far, more than 100 people have been arrested in the course of the investigations into the attacks, which have been blamed on Islamic radicals.

1/3 of those arrested during the coarse of the investigation are being charged with complicity in murder and attempted murder:

Judge Juan del Olmo has accused five Moroccan men - Jamal Zougam, Abdelmajid Bouchar, Youssef Belhadj, Rabei Ousman Sayed Ahmed and Hassan el Haski - of 191 murders and 1,755 attempted murders.

Jose Emilio Suarez Trashorras, a Spaniard suspected of providing the bombers with explosives, was charged with 192 murders - including the death of a policeman killed during a raid on suspected bombers after the attacks.

The others have been charged as accomplices over the 10 co-ordinated explosions on four trains during the busy morning rush hour.

I would be interested in knowing if the state purports Trashorras knew what they were using the explosives for or if he was simply a criminal conduit without knowledge of the attacks.

One interesting point, which seems to be getting echoed in England regarding the July 7 bombings is that Al Qaida did not "order" the attacks, but that the Madrid bombings were simply carried out by a small cell with sympathies and no direct connection.

This comes out of the contention that Al Qaida is not a command and control organization, but more of a clearing house for Jihadists. However, I think this approach by the state in insisting there was no connection maybe an attempt to limit exposure of the state's security apparatuses. From past activities of Al Qaida, the question of their involvement is not a matter of "yes" or "no", but the depth of it. AQAMs have used the connection with AQ parent organization to get monetary, logistical and training support if not simply pass on messages or pass interested people on to the cells for use and execution of plans.

I think some people have gone from over-estimating their ability to underestimating it completely.

BBC NEWS | Europe | Madrid bombing suspects charged

No comments: