Wednesday, February 14, 2007

El Mundo And Dinitrotoluene

The article in El Mundo today concerning the pre-trial analysis of the explosives is a perfect demonstration of the methods used by this newspaper in its attempts to try and cast doubt on the investigation of the bombings.

They have found a document which states that dinitrotoluene (DNT) is not a recognised component of the explosive allegedly used in the bombings - Goma-2 Eco. This is fine, it is a document based on analysis of explosives carried out by the Guardia Civil - but not of tests carried out on the samples recovered from the explosion sites in Madrid or Leganés. The latest tests for the trial have indeed found the presence of DNT in the samples of Goma-2 Eco that were recovered in the investigation, and they have also found this substance in the master samples provided for comparison purposes.

Despite this, El Mundo uses the presence of DNT and the fact that not all components of Goma-2 Eco were discovered in all the samples to try and suggest that this explosive may not have been used at all. Instead, and very predictably for anyone who has read their past coverage of the issue, they raise the possibility of Titadine, an explosive used in the past by ETA and therefore the firm favourite of our conspiracy theorists. Titadine does contain DNT, but unfortunately there is no other single fact that currently points to its use in the train bombings. Indeed, the tests have produced evidence of the presence of substances that are not present in Titadine (nitroglicol), but you will search in vain to find any reference to this in El Mundo's article.

Towards the end of the article they get round to mentioning that the master samples of Goma-2 Eco contain DNT (small traces), but only after making a determined attempt to cast doubt on the validity of an analysis carried out in absolutely transparent circumstances. So while the rest of the press reported today on the confirmation of this explosive as the one likely to have been used in the bombings, El Mundo chose a headline directly suggesting otherwise. It is a common feature of their articles on the bombings that they choose a sensationalist headline not borne out by evidence which they either omit completely or bury deep inside the article that follows.

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