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Q: Recent terrorist activity ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Recent terrorist activity
Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: wrongdoer-ga
List Price: $40.00
Posted: 21 Jul 2005 08:06 PDT
Expires: 20 Aug 2005 08:06 PDT
Question ID: 546199
I have a question about recent terrorist activity as it has been
reported in the news media.

My question is this: what, if any, specific evidence has been reported
that implicates the same organization in the following three events:
 - Bombings in Madrid on March 11, 2004
 - A bomb found on a Spanish rail track between Madrid and Seville on April 2, 2004
 - Bombings in the London Underground, July 7, 2005

An acceptable answer should provide insight into the following:

 - Details about any claims of responsibility reported for the three events
 - Details about any reports of the confirmation of such claims
 - Facts reported about the identities of the perpetrators in each of
the three events
 - Evidence reported that links the perpetrators of each event to a
named terrorist organization
 - Details reported about any such named terrorist organization

Sources cited should be respected, trustworthy news outlets.
Subject: Re: Recent terrorist activity
Answered By: adiloren-ga on 28 Jul 2005 02:24 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
This is the mainstream media coverage relating to your question. There
is little information relating to the rail track bomb in Spain beyond
linking the bomb material to that used in the Madrid bombings. I
included some information on that connection, but most of the coverage
is on the Madrid and London bombings. I hope this proves helpful to
you. Please request clarification if necessary.


March 11, 2004 

Who claimed credit?

**A group claiming to be part of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for
the Madrid train bombings in an email.

While much was made of this claim in the media, it seems that it is
difficult to confirm and some doubt if the group even exists.

News Excerpts:

PBS News
March 11, 2004, 4:40pm EST 

<<Spanish officials initially said it appeared a Basque separatist
group was to blame. But later in the day, a London-based Arabic
newspaper said it received a letter -- purportedly from Osama bin
Laden's al-Qaida network -- claiming responsibility for the train
bombings, calling them strikes against "crusaders," Reuters reported.

"This is part of settling old accounts with Spain, the crusader, and
America's ally in its war against Islam," said the letter, signed by
Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades. The group has also claimed responsibility
for a November bombing of two synagogues in Turkey and the August
bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

There was no way of authenticating the letter delivered to the
London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.>>

Sky News,,30000-1126951,00.html

<<An email to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper said  the
Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri was responsible for the worst terrorist
attack on a European city since the second world war.

Bari Atwan, the newspaper?s editor, told Sky News he was certain the
email was authentic.

The claim comes after investigators found an Arabic language tape with
Koranic versus in a van carrying bomb detonators near Madrid.

The letter and the discovery of the van may throw into doubt the
Spanish government?s claim that the Basque separatist group Eta -
rather than al Qaeda - was behind the multiple bombings, which also
injured1,200 people.

"Because of this, I have just given instructions to the security
forces not to rule out any line of investigation," Angel Acebes

Boston Globe

"A group purporting to be part of Al Qaeda that claimed responsibility
for the Madrid train bombings and warned of a looming attack on the
United States seems to be a phantom organization, according to US
intelligence officials and terrorism specialists.

In a 24-hour news cycle dominated by fears of terrorism, the latest
e-mail from the Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade to a London-based Arabic
newspaper sowed anxiety and drew instant headlines all over the world.

But specialists say there is no evidence the organization exists.
E-mail messages purporting to be written by the group previously
claimed responsibility for everything from the North American blackout
to a suicide attack that killed 20 Italian policemen in Iraq. But none
of those claims has proved true, intelligence specialists say."

** Some sources have credited Zarqawi (affiliated with Al Qaeda) with
masterminding the attack.

CBS News
"Abu Musab al Zarqawi is hot right now. He masterminded not only
Berg's murder but also the Madrid carnage on March 11, the bombardment
of Shia worshippers in Iraq the same month, and the April 24 suicide
attack on the port of Basra. But he is far from a newcomer to
slaughter. Well before 9/11, he had already concocted a plot to kill
Israeli and American tourists in Jordan. His label is on terrorist
groups and attacks on four continents."

** A group called generically "Al Qaeda of Europe" with links to
accused 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta is reported to have claimed credit
for the bombings.

FBI Finds Link Between 9-11 and Madrid Train Bombings 
Reuters | November 28 2004 

"MADRID (Reuters) - The FBI has established the clearest link yet
between the March 11 Madrid train bombings and the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks on the United States, a Spanish newspaper reported Sunday.

The FBI has told Spanish investigators that one of three men believed
to have planned the Sept. 11 attacks from Spain in the summer of 2001
also gave the order to carry out the Madrid blasts, the newspaper ABC

The train bombings killed 191 people and wounded 1,900 three days
before a general election. In videotapes, the bombers claimed the
attacks in the name of al Qaeda in Europe and said they were in
revenge for Spain sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Investigators have long concluded that the Sept. 11 attacks were
partially planned in Spain in July 2001.

Hijacker Mohammed Atta, believed to have piloted one of the airliners
that crashed into New York's World Trade Center, visited Spain two
months before the attacks and met two men."

**Some have questioned the reliability of videotaped confessions from Al Qaeda 

The Bin Laden Tapes: Fact or Fiction?

"Just recently in Spain, for example, an Al Qaeda videotape and letter
were used first to claim credit for the 3/11 Madrid bombings, and
subsequently to coerce the Spanish government into withdrawing its
troops from Iraq. While so doing they added a degree of clarity to the
events in Madrid, and helped remove all doubt about the relevance of
those bombings to the international fight against terrorism.

Never discussed as well is the fact that it is only since this new,
unverified medium, that Al Qaeda has adopted new tactics never before
associated with them. Never before the audiotaped message, for
example, did Al Qaeda take responsibility for any terrorist attack.
But since their introduction, the terrorist group has claimed credit
for attacks against German tourists in Tunisia, Israeli tourists in
Kenya, and the more recent 3/11 tragedies in Spain. And they even
offered an audiotaped admission of involvement in the 9/11 attacks
despite all their previous videotaped protestations to the contrary."

** The official suspects

The Madrid bombings were traced back to an apparent al Qaeda cell in North Africa. 

Christian Science Monitor
"New evidence of the way Islamic terrorists evade detection by
operating in loosely connected networks is emerging from the
investigation of the Madrid bomb attacks.

Eleven days after the atrocity in the Spanish capital, the ties that
are emerging between a key suspect in the bombing and Islamic
militants elsewhere in Europe and North Africa point to a widening web
of organizations that may have few direct links to Al Qaeda but are
bent on the same goals.

The investigation has also revealed how terrorist plotters from
different structures appear to have survived police crackdowns in
several countries to regroup and join forces in order to carry out the
operation in Madrid, which killed 202 people."

"The scale of the challenge they face has become clearer from patterns
that investigators have discerned in the wake of the Madrid bombings,
leading them in several directions across Europe and North Africa as
they follow links that the central suspect, the Moroccan Jamal Zougam,
may have forged with Islamic militants.

Spanish police tapped a phone call that Mr. Zougam made in August 2001
to Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, currently jailed in Spain following his
indictment last year by judge Balthazar Garzon, who suspects him of
having been the head of Al Qaeda's cell in Spain.

Zougam was heard to say he had met and offered financial aid to
Mohamed Fizazi. Mr. Fizazi is believed to be the spiritual leader of
Salafiyah Jihadiyah, a Moroccan extremist group. He was found guilty
by a Moroccan court last year of involvement in May's suicide bombings
that killed 44 people in Casablanca, and was jailed for 30 years."

"Among alleged terrorist leaders believed to have worked with Ansar
al-Islam is Abu Musab Zarqawi, founder of the Jordanian radical
Islamist Al Tawhid group, which German police have said is now active
among Middle Eastern exiles in Germany and Italy, seeking recruits to
fight US forces in Iraq and planning attacks in western Europe."

Some suspects under investigation were linked to the Spanish Security
Service and were also said to have suspected ties to Al Qaeda

London Times,,1150429,00.html

"THE man accused of supplying the dynamite used in the al-Qaeda train
bombings in Madrid was in possession of the private telephone number
of the head of Spain?s Civil Guard bomb squad, it emerged yesterday.

Emilio Suárez Trashorras, who is alleged to have supplied 200kg of
dynamite used in the bombs, had obtained the number of Juan Jesús
Sánchez Manzano, the head of Tedax.

The revelation has raised fresh concerns in Madrid about links between
those held responsible for the March bombings, which killed 190
people, and Spain?s security services, and shortcomings in the police
investigation. Señor Suárez Trashorras and two other men implicated in
the bombings have already been identified as police informers. Other
members of the group had evaded police surveillance, despite concerns
within the security services about their activities and evidence of
their association with al-Qaeda.

The telephone number of Señor Sánchez Manzano was contained in a Civil
Guard dossier handed to Juan del Olmo, the investigating judge, at the
National Court in Madrid. The number was written on a piece of paper
found in the possession of Carmen Toro, the wife of Señor Suárez
Trashorras. Both are in custody accused of supplying dynamite used in
the Madrid bombs."


"The Spanish interior ministry says it is investigating reports that
two suspects in the 11 March Madrid train bombings were police

The move came after Spain's El Mundo newspaper said Moroccan Rafa
Zuher and Spaniard Jose Emilio Suarez had been in contact with police
before the attacks.

The men are suspected of providing dynamite for the attacks, which
killed 191 people and injured more than 2,000."

These suspects "blew themselves up" during a raid. The bomb used in
the April 2, 2004 bombing of a rail track was said to be the same kind
as that used in the Madrid attacks.

CBC News

"MADRID - At least three people accused of involvement in last month's
deadly Madrid railway bombings blew themselves up Saturday as police
tried to arrest them, Spanish authorities said."

"Meanwhile, the Spanish government confirmed Saturday that a bomb
found on a high-speed rail line near the city of Toledo on Friday was
the same type as that used in the Madrid attacks.

Rail workers discovered the 12-kilogram bomb in a sports bag on
Friday. The Goma 2 Eco dynamite, commonly used in mining in Spain, was
on the tracks between Madrid and Seville."

Officially, Spain blames Al Qaeda for the Madrid train bombings.

Reuters | July 11, 2005 
By Phil Stewart

"Spain blames al Qaeda for last year's Madrid train bombs and London's
police chief has said Thursday's London attacks bore all the hallmarks
of the loose Islamist network."



Who claimed credit?

A group calling itself the "Secret Organization of al Qaeda Jihad in
Europe" claimed credit for the bombings on a website that was soon
after removed. Links to the specific claim have not yet been


"LONDON, England (CNN) -- A previously unknown group calling itself
the "Secret Organization Group of al Qaeda of Jihad in Europe" has
released a statement claiming responsibility for the subway and bus
bombings in London."

CNN could not confirm the authenticity of the statement, which was
posted Thursday on a Web site connected to Islamic radicals


July 7, 2005 (Bloomberg) -- A group calling itself the al-Qaeda
Organization in Europe claimed responsibility for a series of bombings
across London today, in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site.>>

**Official Suspects

The primary link between the bombers is a mosque most are confirmed to
have attended. Links to major terrorist cells have either not been
found or are not yet being publicized.

Some believe that the bombers may have been duped and were not
expecting to die in the bombings as suicide bombers. Evidence for this
claim is found in the facts that the bombers purchased return tickets
and parking passes.

"The eight alleged bombers in London's two rounds of tube and bus
attacks come from several nations and backgrounds, unlike last year's
Madrid bombers, who were North Africans, or the Sept. 11, 2001,
bombers, who were almost all Saudis.
One thread that binds them, investigators suspect, is the infamous
Finsbury Park mosque in northwest London. A former hotbed of
militancy, the modern, red-brick mosque was frequented by at least
three suspected London bombers."

LA Times,1,6520589.story?coll=la-headlines-world
"Police captured a fugitive suspected of trying to bomb a London
subway train, shooting him with a stun gun in a predawn raid Wednesday
as a nationwide manhunt for three more would-be bombers gathered

The arrest of Yasin Hassan Omar came as U.S. officials said Zambia had
detained Haroon Rashid Aswat, who was sought in connection with
earlier transit bombings that killed 52 people in London.

Aswat, 30, a British citizen of Indian descent, piqued the interest of
investigators when they discovered that about 20 calls had been placed
from his cellphone to some of the men who set off the July 7 bombs.

Investigators are studying possible links between the July 7 blasts
and the botched bombings last week."
"Yasin Hassan Omar was subdued with a stun gun when officers stormed a
home in Birmingham. Members of the bomb squad, some dressed in armored
suits, were seen entering the home after police evacuated 100 nearby

Peter Clarke, head of the London police's antiterrorist unit, said
police are still looking for the other three men believed involved."

Bombers in London may have been duped
International Herald Tribune/ New York Times


Links Between the attacks:

Some perceive a connection between the Madrid bombings and those in London 

World Net Daily
"British intelligence officials believe today's bomb attacks on
London's mass transit system might be tied to the North African-based
terrorists who carried out the strikes in Madrid last year, according
to a terrorism analyst.

Steven Emerson told MSNBC he spoke with an intelligence official who
suspected "our North African boys."

"There is an interconnected network of Algerians, of Moroccans, of
Saudis operating throughout Europe," said Emerson, according to an
unofficial transcript posted by The Counterterrorism Blog."

Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, believed to have been involved in the
organization of the Madrid attacks may be linked to the bombings in

London Times

<<THE terrorist believed to have organised last year?s Madrid train
attacks is emerging as a figure in the hunt for the London bombers.

Spanish security sources are said to have warned four months ago that
Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a 47-year-old Syrian, had identified Britain
as a likely target.

Coded commands from the Syrian, thought to have included threats to
other European countries including Britain, were found in a flat
raided after the Madrid bombings in March 2004.

Spanish investigators said Nasar, now believed to be in Iraq, had set
up a "sleeper" cell of terrorists in Britain. But they believed he was
planning an attack to coincide with the British general election in
May, rather than the G8 summit last week.>>

U.S. Intelligence may point to a link


<<WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence had picked up warnings recently that
the al-Qaida terror network or its followers were seeking to duplicate
the dramatic 3/11 Madrid train bombings in another European city, two
knowledgeable sources said Thursday.

The information lacked details on what city might be the target or
when the attacks might occur, but it appeared to foreshadow Thursday's
London mass-transit bombing, which was similar to the 2004 Madrid
attacks that also targeted commuter trains at rush-hour.

Some of that information had been culled from a notebook belonging to
Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the No.3 official in al-Qaida and the group's
operations chief, who was arrested in Pakistan in May, one
intelligence source said.

"There was some intelligence that they wanted to do another Madrid in
Europe," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "This
came from al-Libbi's secret notebooks.">>

<<In London, bombs on three commuter trains were detonated by timers,
not cell phones, as were used in Madrid, one U.S official said. A
fourth blast on a double-decker bus appears to have been the work of a
suicide bomber, according to the preliminary investigation, the
sources said."

Some see a similar methodology at work and believe that al Qaeda (in
some form) is responsible for both attacks.

London Times,,1072-1684947,00.html

"In this way and in others, the London attacks conform to post-9/11
terrorist trends. Globally we have witnessed a movement away from the
centralised planning of grandiose attacks seen in Osama bin Laden?s
al-Qaeda and towards independent groups attacking smaller and less
protected targets. The largest recent terrorist attacks before
yesterday?s ? the 2003 bomb attacks in Turkey and the 2004 train
attacks in Madrid ? were both cases of this "homegrown terror ". The
terrorists behind these attacks were residents of these nations and
appear to have acted entirely independently of al-Qaeda?s central
hierarchy. While a group calling itself "the Secret Organisation Group
of al Qaeda of Jihad Organisation in Europe" has claimed credit for
the attack on London?s Tube, it is not at all clear if they have any
real co-operation with bin Laden?s al-Qaeda or rather simply an
emotional or aspirational one, or if their claim is legitimate at

A figure in the Madrid bombings with links to al Qaeda has connections
to London and may have even been harbored there by the government.

Evening Standard
British links of bombing suspect 
By Justin Davenport, Evening Standard Crime Correspondent 
16 March 2004

Growing evidence emerged today of links between a prime suspect in the
Madrid bombings and al Qaeda suspects with connections to London.

Jamal Zougam, 30, was arrested by Spanish police at the weekend after
a witness claimed to have seen him on one of the bombed trains.

Zougam, who has been under surveillance as a terror suspect, is known
to have attended an Afghan training camp set up by Osama bin Laden.
Among the material found at his home were telephone numbers of Islamic
militants, including four al Qaeda suspects who visited or lived in
London. These included the alleged mastermind of the Casablanca
bombing last year which killed 43 people."

London al Qaeda link 
By Patrick Sawer and Hugh Dougherty, Evening Standard 
15 March 2004

"A London man is to be questioned over suspicions that he played a key
role in the Madrid bombings.

Abu Qatada is described as Osama bin Laden's "ambassador" in Europe
and is regarded as one of the most dangerous Islamic terrorist leaders
being held in Britain.

He is said to be connected to one of the men held over the Spanish
train bombings which left 200 dead."


"A senior al-Qaeda leader is reportedly being looked after by British
intelligence at a safe house in northern England - but security
sources are denying the claim.

Abu Qatada is accused by the United States, Spain, France and Algeria
of being a key influence in the 11 September attacks on the US.

Mr Qatada faces a death sentence in Jordan after being convicted in
his absence of funding a bombing campaign, and is said by US and
Spanish investigators to be Osama Bin Laden's ambassador in Europe.

He disappeared in mid-December after British authorities confiscated
his passport, froze his assets and ordered him confined to his home in
Acton, west London.

In April the Sunday Times said Mr Qatada had turned "supergrass" for
MI5 - a theory fuelled by the arrests of several Muslim extremists in
Germany who had met him."


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