Skip to comments.Spanish al-Qaeda cell directly involved in US attacks: judge "operating in Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghan"
Posted on 11/18/2001 2:01:13 PM PST by Pericles
Monday November 19, 12:42 AM
Spanish al-Qaeda cell directly involved in US attacks: judge
A Spanish investigating judge charged eight suspected members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network arrested in Spain with preparing and carrying out the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Judge Baltasar Garzon accused the group of being "directly involved with the preparation and carrying out of the attacks perpetrated by the suicide pilots on September 11".
They were remanded in custody in Madrid charged with offences including "a terrorist attack against people" related to the US incidents.
Garzon said he had based the charges on telephone conversations intercepted by police before the attacks took place.
The eight were part of a group of 11 people arrested on Tuesday in Madrid and the southern city of Granada.
He said the intercepted telephone conversations involved a Spanish Imam, or spiritual leader, of Syrian origin called Abu Dahdah -- whose real name is Imad Eddin Barakat Yarbas -- who headed the group.
One such conversation was on August 26 involving someone called "Shakur", identified as an al-Qaeda activist, Garzon said.
He said this person said to Dahdah in a coded language that "in our lessons, we have entered the field of aviation and we have cut the bird's throat".
Garzon also revealed that Dahdah knew Mohammed Atta, one of the pilots involved in the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are the prime suspects for the September 11 plane attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
He said he believed the Spanish al-Qaeda cell was formed between 1994-95 and completely integrated into the organisation's criminal activities.
Garzon questioned the 11 detainees in a overnight interrogation which began on Saturday morning at his offices in the Audencia Nacional, Spain's highest criminal court, before eight of them were remanded in custody on Sunday.
As well as the terrorist attack charge, the eight were also accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation, theft, falsifying documents, and illegal possession of arms.
Apart from Abu Dahdah, the other detainees were named as Luis Jose Galan Gonzalez, also known as Yusuf Galan, Jasem Mahbule, Bassan Dalati Satut, Osama Darra, Mohammed Neetl Acaid, Said Chedadi and Mohammed Zahir Asade.
The remaining three were released on bail but told they were still under investigation. They were named as Mohammed Ghaleb Kalaje, Ahmad Raghad Mardini and Mohammed Arabi Shehimi.
Garzon claimed the dismantled Spanish al-Qaeda cell had been used as a base camp for Islamic fighters operating in Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan.
The judge said it also gave financial support to the main al-Qaeda network through a system of flights and forged credit cards.
According to the Sunday edition of the daily El Pais, Dahdah had met bin Laden on two occasions.
It also reported how investigations by the Spanish authorities into Islamic militant activities had started in 1999.
These had revealed the existence of an al-Qaeda camp in Indonesia which trained between 2,000 and 3,000 Islamic radicals.
Too bad W can't appoint him to a US bench. Oh, that's right, Dash-hole and Leahy would never let his appointment go forth anyway.
BTW, alert readers may have noted that one of the names of those arrested was not Arabic, but Spanish. The man is indeed a Spaniard, a convert to Islam whose prior activities seem to have included some minor connection with HB, the political wing of the Basque terrorist group, ETA. Both the fact that he was a convert and the fact that he had had some contact (although possibly not extensive) with a domestic SPanish terrorist group make this report even more alarming.
Now I wonder if they knew something that we did not.
This is the name which caught my eye. Punsters could have a field day with this one, LOL!
Livius and all--does anyone recall the American Media anthrax attack? One man died, and others had the skin anthrax. One of the first suspects was an intern. Most of us dismissed him as being unlikely, because he was not Arab, but in fact, a Spaniard. Maybe we (including the FBI) should re-think that?
Swiss TV journalist Richard Labeviere details in his book Dollars for Terror how some European super-rightists, especially neo-Nazis, have joined the Islamofascist cause, and even converted to Islam. Surprises me, though, that a Basque nationalist should so convert. Aren't the Basques super-Catholic? I'm Irish (Irish-American, actually, but I have plenty of relatives in Ireland,) and, weakened as the church now is in Ireland, I am sure that any Irish nationalist who actually converted to Islam would immediately forfeit all support in the country. Are the Basques any different?
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