Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Trial....Day 35, May 9th

The day began with the appearance of two national police experts, identified by numbers 17855 and 13610. They were the authors of reports on the analysis of a computer recovered from the wreckage of the apartment in Leganés where 7 of those held responsible for the train bombings blew themselves up on the 3rd April 2004. These 2 witnesses also participated in the preparation of reports on Islam and on possible links between Islamists and the Basque group ETA. They declared that the latter report concluded that no such links existed, and that the contacts which had taken place between prisoners were a normal occurrence. Questioned on the allegation that an Islamist prisoner, Abdelkrim Bensmail, was found in possession of a formula for an explosive mixture used by ETA, the witnesses testified that the formula discovered was not the same as that normally employed by ETA.

The witnesses declared that the information on Islamist groups recovered from Leganés was all about groups that operate within the orbit of Al-Qaeda. The Takfir sect and the Moroccan Islamic Combat Group belong to the Salafist current which is considered to be part of Al Qaeda in North Africa.They had also worked on a report on the mobile telephones used in the bombs which concluded that there could have been more than one provider of telephones. These witnesses also testified on the tracking of calls made by Jamal Ahmidam on the 28th and 29th February 2004, when he travelled from Madrid to Avilés in Asturias. Investigation of the calls revealed that some were made close to the Conchita mine from where it is alleged the explosives were stolen. During these 2 days Ahmidam had conversations by telephone with Emilio Suárez Trashorras, Otman el Ghanoui, Mohamed Oulad Akcha and Abdelilah el Fadoual el Akil.

Next the witness 13610 declared together with another specialist, identified by number 84114. The 2 experts were questioned concerning a report on the Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade, in whose name a claim of responsibility was made for the bombings. The witnesses said that intelligence information pointed to this organisation being an offshoot of Al Qaeda. They declared that the London bombings were also claimed in the name of this organisation. They also investigated the use of an Internet site called Global Islamic Media, they had been unable to access the site directly, but from material recovered they found items taken from it. These specialists were also questioned on a report they prepared on the Renault Kangoo van found in Alcalá de Henares on the day of the bombings, the Leganés apartment, and other properties related to the bombings. Amongst other things, this report referred to documentation recovered in Leganés. The witnesses were not involved in the investigation, their task was to compile information that the investigation uncovered.

Witness 84114 was then joined by another police specialist with number 82663 to declare on a report they prepared on documentation recovered in Leganés. They said that almost all of the documentation found was in Arabic and that thousands of documents had to be checked from the computer and memory sticks. They declared that a fax sent to the newspaper ABC claiming responsibility for the attacks had been written by Serhane ben Abdelmajid. They also testified on a document divided into 19 separate files which contained information on military training and the use of explosives. On weapons discovered in the wreckage of the apartment, they said that a pistol had belonged to a former member of the Guardia Civil, and that the origin of the Sterling submachine guns found was not clear. They also testified on a document discovered on a laptop computer belonging to Jamal Ahmidam, the document had chapters on guerilla warfare, the use of weapons and communications security.

Footnote: The existence of any kind of contact between Islamists and ETA is something the conspiracy theorists still attempt to place in the trial, yet no witness has provided any significant evidence of such contacts in the entire course of the trial. One of the lawyers representing the pro-conspiracy theory victims associations was slapped down very hard by the chief judge Gomez Bermudez in this session after he tried to insist on this issue. Again he was reminded that the role of these associations in the trial is to support their written accusation, despite this they never lose an opportunity to abuse their position and introduce conspiracy theory material whenever they can. The question of the affiliations of the perpetrators is more interesting, as we enter into the question of how formal the links are between Al Qaeda and groups which are said to be under its influence.

Datadiar - Daily Summary
El País - ETA Connections
ABC - Jamal Ahmidam telephone tracking

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