PDA

View Full Version : Spain Still Not Safe



Confed999
03 Apr 04,, 17:14
Fear of New Bomb Attacks Grows in Spain
By Estelle Shirbon
MADRID (Reuters) - High-speed trains to southern Spain began running again on Saturday after a bomb found on the line was defused but fears grew that Islamic extremists could strike again after the Madrid rail bombings.

The 12-kg (26-lb) bomb found on Friday on the high-speed line from Madrid to the southern city of Seville revived tension that was just beginning to subside after suspected al Qaeda-linked commuter train bombs killed 191 people on March 11.

Interior Minister Angel Acebes told a news conference the dynamite in Friday's bomb was of the same Goma 2 Eco make as that used on March 11 and said it was possible that the type of detonator could be common to both.

However, officials cautioned that both the explosives and detonators are widely used in mining.

The bomb was spotted by railway workers and defused. Investigators believe extremists planned to derail a high-speed train in an attack that might have killed hundreds of people.

Acebes has said the radical Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group is the main suspect in the March 11 bombings, but he threw no light on who might be responsible for Friday's bomb.

"The investigation is beginning and so it would be very hasty to say any organization was responsible for yesterday," he said when asked if it could be the shadowy Moroccan group, which is believed to be tied to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

Spanish newspapers were less cautious, saying the evidence pointed to Islamic militants in both cases.

El Pais newspaper reported that Spain is the main al Qaeda base in Europe and said police believed al Qaeda could strike again here.

Spain could be a target for attack by Islamic militants because of its strong support for U.S. policy on Iraq under outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.

But Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who takes office later this month after his upset victory in elections held three days after the Madrid bombs, has pledged to bring 1,300 Spanish troops home from Iraq if the United Nations does not take charge there by the end of June.

The prestigious AVE trains, which can reach 350 kmh (220 mph), began running again on Saturday after being suspended on Friday while police painstakingly checked the track.

But passengers were anxious and trains which had been almost fully booked a few days earlier were half-empty, said a Reuters correspondent traveling on one of the first high-speed trains out of Madrid.

"It always affects you. You can't be calm. Everything seems fairly under control but you don't know what will happen," said passenger Jose Antonio Perez, a 40-year-old chemist.

Normally, the trains would have been packed with travelers leaving town for the Holy Week holiday.

AL QAEDA ACTIVE IN SPAIN

The chairman of Spanish state railway company Renfe, Miguel Corsini, took the first high-speed service to Seville to show it was safe. The train arrived without incident.

Spain was once used as a rear base by Islamic militants, but having failed with attempted attacks in other European countries, "sleeper cells" were now carrying out operations in Spain, El Pais said. Police suspected 200 people in Spain of cooperating with radical Islamic groups, it said.

Spain is holding 15 people, many of them Moroccan, over the March 11 attacks.

Interpol said it had issued international wanted persons notices for six suspects in the Madrid train bombing investigation. It sent the notices to police in 181 countries after a Spanish judge signed arrest warrants for the five Moroccans and one Tunisian.

"With terrorism an ever-increasing threat, efficient cooperation between the world's police is essential," Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said in a statement.

Spanish authorities, anxious to reassure citizens, ordered the army to help protect the high-speed railway and other key installations, using helicopters and armored vehicles.

In Britain, a Department of Transport spokesman said the department had taken note of developments in Spain.

"What has been announced in Madrid today will be considered with a view toward lessons to be learned, and this will be fed into our security regime," he said.

Several newspapers reported that the Spanish embassy in Egypt had recently received a letter signed by the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades and al Qaeda threatening to attack embassies, consulates and other Spanish interests in north Africa and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region.

The letter said the attacks could be avoided if Spain withdrew its soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan in the next four weeks, El Mundo newspaper reported.

A letter sent to a London-based Arabic newspaper on March 11 claimed responsibility for the Madrid train attacks on behalf of the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades -- a group that aligns itself to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

Original Story (http://news.myway.com/top/article/id/354863|top|04-03-2004::09:06|reuters.html)

Confed999
03 Apr 04,, 22:54
Explosion rocks Madrid suburb
At least one person has been killed and seven injured in an explosion near the Spanish capital, Madrid.
It occurred during a police operation to arrest suspected Islamic militants in the south-western suburb of Leganes.

Police said they were looking for three men of Moroccan origin in connection with the Madrid train bombings.

Reports suggest the dead man was a police officer. The blast is thought to have been set off by the suspects - who police say may also have died.

The explosion occurred at 2100 local time (1900GMT).

It came as police were entering the building where the suspects were thought to be hiding, according to Spanish media reports.

"We don't know the exact origin of the explosion, we think it was probably set off by people resisting the arrests," an interior ministry spokesman said.

Earlier reports had spoken of a controlled explosion carried out by the police.

Evacuation

In the area where the blast happened, helicopters with search beams have been circling overhead. Earlier, one landed on the building.

At least 15 ambulances and fire engines are said to be at the scene.
The BBC's Katya Adler in Madrid says frightened residents are crowding onto the nearby streets.

Some were evacuated at the beginning of the operation, while others were told to stay at home.

Fifteen people have already been arrested in connection with the 11 March attacks on commuter trains in Madrid.

Earlier, the Spanish interior minister said tests had confirmed that a bomb found on a high-speed railway line on Friday contained the same explosive as the Madrid bombs.

But Angel Acebes said it was still too soon to draw any conclusions about who planted the unexploded device.

Army vehicles and helicopters are patrolling key parts of the Spanish rail network following Friday's alert.

Original Story (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3597443.stm)

Bill
04 Apr 04,, 03:12
See what appeasment gets you you pussies?

Reap what you have sown...

ChrisF202
04 Apr 04,, 19:22
Originally posted by M21Sniper
See what appeasment gets you you pussies?

Reap what you have sown...
maybe they will learn a lesson

Trooth
04 Apr 04,, 23:26
What appeasement? Lots of words have been said, but as far as i am aware the Spanish troops have not been withdrawn.

In terms of what it gets them? They removed Aznar's dictatorial style of government, so that is good for Spain. If it hasn't made it any safer, tehy still gained out of it.

Confed999
05 Apr 04,, 00:21
Originally posted by Trooth
What appeasement? Lots of words have been said
The words are the appeasement, even if they didn't mean them to be. The words have done the damage, and have invited further attacks by showing their weakness to terroism. The Socialist party appears to have been voted in BECAUSE of the train bombings, not for dictator whatever. It doesn't matter what Spain's motives were, the damage is done, and they've shown anyone can get their way with a few bombs. Spain should be expecting alot of bombs in the future.

Trooth
05 Apr 04,, 01:07
NAs i have droned on about enlessly, the people of Spain did not want what Aznar wanted. Once his party started to blame Eta and not AQ (to avoid people drawing the obvious conclusion) the writing was on the wall and Aznar got what he deserved. To argue otherwise is to argue that since Bush's 2001 speach to the US congress, no democratic government must change otherwise the terrorists have won. I would argue they have if the governments don't change.

Ray
05 Apr 04,, 01:12
I wonder which place on Earth is safe. Possibly North Korea because they have a dictatorial regime and none would like to go there since there is no food out there. Why waste RDX when they can be starved out ;) And anyway a terrorist will be found out since they will ahve different facial features.

Confed999
05 Apr 04,, 01:49
Originally posted by Trooth
NAs i have droned on about enlessly, the people of Spain did not want what Aznar wanted. Once his party started to blame Eta and not AQ (to avoid people drawing the obvious conclusion) the writing was on the wall and Aznar got what he deserved. To argue otherwise is to argue that since Bush's 2001 speach to the US congress, no democratic government must change otherwise the terrorists have won. I would argue they have if the governments don't change.
If you argue that, you're arguing a point nobody made. The Spaniards motives don't matter, all that matters is what the terrorists, and anyone else crazy enough, takes from it.

Bill
05 Apr 04,, 07:20
Actually, the 'dictator' was ahead in the polls until the bombings, then he got wiped out in the election because of the bombings.

That my friend...is appeasement.

Trooth
05 Apr 04,, 14:28
Well, the "dictators" party was ahead in the polls. It must be considered that the Popular Party had a bit of a reprieve as Aznar was standing down anyway. But remember his involvement in Iraq was contrary to the feelings of 90% of the Spanish.

I would say that they were only ahead because he was stepping down, when his sucessor started trying to deflect 11-M away from AQ and towards ETA for what are fairly obvious political reasons, I think it backfired.

Which i say is democracy at work. His government was held to account for not respecting the will of the people.

Bill
05 Apr 04,, 16:18
"MADRID, Spain - An Islamic group that claims responsibility for the Madrid bombings says it will turn Spain "into an inferno" unless the country halts its support for the United States and withdraws its troops from Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites).


The threat came in a letter faxed to the Spanish daily newspaper ABC over the weekend, the paper said Monday. ABC said the letter was handwritten in Arabic and signed "Abu Dujana Al Afgani, Ansar Group, al-Qaida in Europe."


The same person claimed responsibility for the March 11 bombings in a videotape found outside a Madrid mosque two days after the attacks.


The fax came just hours before five terror suspects blew themselves up in an apartment in Leganes, south of Madrid, to avoid police capture.


The government believes the suicide blast killed two of the alleged ringleaders of last month's Madrid train bombings, including one known as "the Tunisian," and three other terror suspects.


Two or three suspects may have escaped before the blast, which also killed a special forces officer and wounded 15 other policeman.


The letter gave Spain until Sunday, April 4, to fulfill its demands of ending support for the United States and withdrawing troops from both countries.


"If these demands are not met, we will declare war on you and ... convert your country into an inferno and your blood will flow like rivers," the letter said.


The group said it had showed its force with the "blessed attacks of March 11" and the planting of a bomb along the high-speed railway line linking Madrid and the Seville last week, which did not explode.


ABC cited unidentified sources in Spain's National Intelligence Center as saying the letter's authenticity appeared "fairly credible." It said the language used in the letter was similar to that used in the video.


The intelligence agency has linked the Ansar group to the Tunisian ringleader killed in the suicide blast Saturday evening.


Ansar al-Islam is an Islamic extremist guerrilla group blamed for terrorist strikes in Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Morocco.


A respected French private investigator says Spanish police believe that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian terror suspect with links to the Ansar group and al-Qaida, coordinated the Madrid attacks.


The railway bombings, which killed 191 persons and injured some 1,800, came three days before Spain's general elections. Many saw the bombings as a reprisal for the Spanish government's support for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.


The opposition Socialist party, which had opposed the war along with most Spaniards, won the elections, in part due to anger over the attacks.


In one of its first statements, the party said it planned to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq by June 30 unless the United Nations (news - web sites) took control of the situation there. The party later said it intended doubling its troop numbers in Afghanistan to 250 to show it was committed to fighting terrorism."

Confed999
05 Apr 04,, 19:17
Originally posted by Trooth
Which i say is democracy at work.
And is why I no longer care what happens to them. It was their choice and the bombs are blowing them up, not us.

Originally posted by M21Sniper
"MADRID, Spain - An Islamic group that claims responsibility for the Madrid bombings says it will turn Spain "into an inferno" unless the country halts its support for the United States and withdraws its troops from Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites).
The terrorists should ask for more than that, these guys are voting to roll over like an attention starved dog.

Trooth
05 Apr 04,, 19:24
Originally posted by Confed999
And is why I no longer care what happens to them. It was their choice and the bombs are blowing them up, not us.


I think that was exactly their point.

Confed999
05 Apr 04,, 19:25
Originally posted by Trooth
I think that was exactly their point.
Then I don't understand what you're arguing for.

Trooth
05 Apr 04,, 19:45
I am arguing that the Spanish acted in their own national interest. Good for them. They got rid of a duplicitous government. Well done them.

Confed999
05 Apr 04,, 19:54
Originally posted by Trooth
I am arguing that the Spanish acted...
Nobody here has contested their vote. I still don't know what you're arguing for.

Trooth
05 Apr 04,, 20:00
I guess because they deserved more than cheap jibes, when all they were doing is what any country should do.

Confed999
05 Apr 04,, 20:08
Originally posted by Trooth
I guess because they deserved more than cheap jibes
I haven't seen any cheep "jibes", they've all been at the cost of peoples lives. "Reap what you have sown..."

Trooth
05 Apr 04,, 20:18
That's my point. They feel they have reaped what they have sown and wish to reverse that. They in fact didn't wish to sow it in the first place.

smilingassassin
05 Apr 04,, 20:44
The spanish have rolled over and played dead hoping that the terrorists will stop bombing.....good luck to that idea. The fact that they channeled their anger towards the govt. and not the attackers just shows the lack of backbone the population has for confronting terrorism.

Bill
05 Apr 04,, 23:26
Nailed that one right on the head Smiling Assasin.

When you act like a bitch, you'll get slapped like a bitch more often than not.

ChrisF202
05 Apr 04,, 23:30
I heard that they threated to turn Spain into an "inferno", maybe then the people will get a spine and fight back, it always takes a tragedy to fix something bad.

Confed999
05 Apr 04,, 23:42
Originally posted by Trooth
That's my point. They feel they have reaped what they have sown and wish to reverse that. They in fact didn't wish to sow it in the first place.
Too far back in time, they agreed to terrorist demands, no matter what their cause or motivation. That is what they've sown, and what they'll reap.

Trooth
05 Apr 04,, 23:57
Hmm, a foreign policy lesson we should all learn from.

Confed999
05 Apr 04,, 23:58
Originally posted by Trooth
Hmm, a foreign policy lesson we should all learn from.
I agree, don't give in to terrorists.

Trooth
06 Apr 04,, 00:15
And don't get involved in fights that your people don't support.

Confed999
06 Apr 04,, 00:57
Originally posted by Trooth
And don't get involved in fights that your people don't support.
Yep, but the terrorists were going to fight them anyway. Still, too far back in time, as I've said, nobody except you and the Spanish care about their motives, just the effect. If you can show this won't encourage terrorists then I'll agree you're right, otherwise you can continue to argue, but you'll be arguing points nobody else cares about.

smilingassassin
06 Apr 04,, 01:15
"And don't get involved in fights that your people don't support."

They had better support it, they have always been a target and their support for the U.S. in Iraq and Afganistan was not a dirrect atack against Al-Q et all yet they decided to raise the stakes and make them a prime target by murdering Spanish civilians. Like it or not they are in the fight now and the ordinary civilian should realize that, drop the moral equivilence crap and kick terrorst ass hard enough that their grand children will feel it.
If the spanish want to join the co-allition of the unwilling fine...its their funeral. It still bogles the mind how so many in Europe still don't understand the "with us or against us" phrase in reguards to the war on terrorism. Europe out of all the worlds nations should realize the results of cowering in the face of tyranny.

Bill
06 Apr 04,, 10:30
The Spaniards didn't really learn that lesson like the rest of Europe did.

Guess they're paying for that now.

Apparently the Brits learned the lesson, and the French are just acting according to their inherent nature to be pussies.

smilingassassin
06 Apr 04,, 22:10
"The French are just acting according to their inherent nature to be pussies."

Sniper, don't you mean The French are NOT acting according to their inherent nature to be pussies?

Unfortunately the average everyday joe on the street see's war as inherently evil and will fight against going to war even if it means giving up freedoms and running like a coward. What that average joe dosn't realize that war is an inherent evil USED to DEFEAT an inherent evil. There will always be people on the world who are crule sonovabitchs who will enslave and manipulate for their own sadistic enjoyment, and if you think that all the nations of the world have this type of idiot syndrom contained to a few nuts you are dead wrong.

The ME is rife with "Idiot syndrom" and they unfortunately have the majority of decent people under the heel of their boot. You can call it war for oil, colonialism or enslavement, but your just denying the enevitable, man is not yet ready for world peace. We are almost there but not yet.

Trooth
06 Apr 04,, 23:34
I think there needs to be an assessment of what lesson it is that Britain, France, the US, (insert name of country here learnt) and Spain (insert name of country here) failed to learn.

However people want to portray it, I firmly believe that AQ and other terrorist organisations use a priority system to select their targets. But what is it that they use to derive their priorities?

Lunatock
07 Apr 04,, 02:21
Originally posted by M21Sniper
See what appeasment gets you you pussies?

Reap what you have sown...

Confed999 beat me to it. But yeah, the new Spanish PM chose to roll over and probably expected his stomach to be rubbed like a dog.

...another photoshop request for Boomer?

ChrisF202
07 Apr 04,, 03:46
Very nice post smilingassassin, its not their fault, its been 60 years since the last real war in Europe. In time they will join us against evil, it took us a few years to get into WW2 as well.

Bill
07 Apr 04,, 05:26
"I think there needs to be an assessment of what lesson it is that Britain, France, the US, (insert name of country here learnt) and Spain (insert name of country here) failed to learn."

Ever heard of WWII Trooth?

The Spaniards sat that one out...the rest of Europe with the exception of Portugal and Switzerland did not.

Therefore, the nations that did participate learned quite a deal about the foolishness of trying to appease tyrants.

They learned it the hard way too.